CREEPY MORONS / THE REBEL / GINDRINKER, 14TH SEPTEMBER 2007, CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH
Never let it be said that Gindrinker are sensitive types. The whole country - or readers of the tabloid press, at least - may still be gripped by the story of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, leading some people in the creative industries to opt for self-censorship, but not the local miscreants. 'Covered In Bugs' - a tale of mysterious goings-on in sheds and bits of body in binbags set to brutal drumbeat and slashing guitar - is, in the absence of 'Hey Greengrocer', one of two centrepoints to tonight's set.
The other is 'Work It Out', apparently "a Christian rock song ... from the perspective of God", the chorus to which sounds like Mark E Smith fronting the Glitter Band. It's due for release as a single on new Cardiff label Businessman Records early in the new year. An unusually sober DC is unable to elicit any questions from the audience, but consoles himself by regaling us with new song 'Hanging Is Too Good For These Bastards' (which features actual singing, probably a first). Gindrinker remain a perfectly formed boil on the arse of popular music.
The Rebel are B R Wallers of cult, shambolic and studiously offensive art-punks The Country Teasers (whom I once saw supporting Sebadoh in Nottingham) on guitar and keyboards, and his wife Sophie on drums. They're also late, which limits their set to three songs - a particular shame for a chap called Tom whose reading of 'The Brothers Karamazov' we rudely interrupt to discover this is who he's come along specifically to see.
Occasionally playing chords on the keyboard with the headstock of his guitar, Wallers - wearing thick glasses, a bodywarmer, shorts and white socks - looks like Graham Coxon's even more agoraphobic brother, albeit one who has no shame in singing songs about suggesting copulation as a means of keeping warm to a roomful of strangers.
Anyone remember The Beatings? London-based, they briefly rode the post-Strokes garage rock tidal wave in 2002-3 before running into difficulties, forced to change their name by a Boston band who'd got there first and then releasing an extremely long-time-in-the-making Kevin Shields produced debut album (Black Rays Defence) under the moniker The Beat Up, which subsequently sank without trace. Well, from the ashes have risen Creepy Morons, their name presumably chosen because it's so bad no one else would want it...
Claiming to write songs about nothing but "women, drinking and death" (what else is there to write about, after all?!), Creepy Morons comprise Nick on guitar and Ben on drums and specialise in a grouchy, sludgy, rumbling, primal punk blues racket - imagine if The Cramps and The Black Keys spawned, and the offspring turned out to be a bear with a particularly sore head. It's grippingly menacing stuff, as you might expect from a band who formed to support Melvins rhythm section Big Business on tour, and, as when we saw Blood Red Shoes back in February, I'm reminded that there's little so good to watch on stage as two people utterly in tune with each other - even if the tune in question will make your ears rattle for days afterwards.