Monday, October 26, 2015

Queasy listening


That Kancho!’s cymbals are battered and fraying at the edges gives us helpful advance warning that our eardrums are about to come under attack. And so it proves, with what is a significant change of direction for former Ute and Old Grinding Young man (not to mention Idiot King head honcho) Mike Chilcott. Shellac are a reliably agreeable point of reference, though the duo could perhaps vary the pace a bit for added impact.

The Correct Arc instantly transport me back to the turn of the millennium – a time when it seemed more bands were off-kilter than were on, and when the contents of my bank account were regularly channelled straight into the cash registers of Nottingham music-lover’s mecca Selectadisc in return for a selection of albums from the store’s post-hardcore section. As a result, their set is a trip down memory lane, conjuring up the ghosts of largely forgotten Dischord signings like Bluetip and Faraquet. Times and my tastes have moved on, though, and the rose-tinted reverie doesn’t last.

And then there’s Blacklisters. The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow was never one to be reticent about exposing himself onstage, and I can only assume that at a gig in Leeds some time in the late 1980s he went rather further, judging by the number of love children his band seem to have fathered in the city.

From the moment they kick off with ‘Shirts’ – from new album Adults, produced by Hookworms’ Matt Johnson and released on Smalltown America – it’s clear that we’re in for a treat. And like most treats, the Blacklisters live experience is moreish and irresistible but an indulgence that will significantly reduce your life expectancy.

Songs slouch along malevolently before exploding into life with violent, in-your-face intensity – a full-on assault of howling vocals, abrasive sandpapery guitar noise, lurching basslines and seasick rhythms that desperately clutches at your throat, hell-bent on throttling every last breath out of you.

For a while it's touch and go, but in the end we make it out alive - and, having lived to tell the tale, we're duty bound to do so, loudly and regularly to anyone who'll listen. Consider yourselves told.

(This review appears in the November issue of Nightshift.)

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