Hot Head Show 2013



Fervid yet filigree, Les Claypool’s favorite avant-punks boil up the brain with a bang.

Living up to their name, this London band exercise a frantic spectacular, so much so that you never know where you are at any given moment but, the title of opener “Kansas” notwithstanding, you can be sure you’re not there anymore one instant later. The momentary nature of the group’s music makes a foundation of a style they call “bang bang”: it informs such cuts as the flamenco’ed “Unbearable Lightness Of Bang” and the soundscaped skank of “Bang Now” and makes you suspect that the brass-bashing hip hop of “Bangfish” is, in fact, a weirder impression of a trout mask. A fitting artfulness for an ensemble whose singing guitarist Jordan Copeland picks up where the wildest prog dreams of his parents, CURVED AIR‘s Sonja Kristina and Stewart Copeland, left off.

The band’s second album is a vertiginous proposition that runs from pop to blues in a blink of an eye throwing a lyrical twist along the way – how often do you hear the word “boudoir” in a song? – and when a rap goes rippling, Jonah Brody’s bass and Betamax’s drums kick up the clanging riff-fest. But there’s a blissed-out beauty in “Bethany” which rumbles under all the theatrical idiosyncrasy, arrestingly multi-layered yet, despite the shifting time signatures, easy on the ear. Marrying romanticism to a psychobilly, “Bodie Doesn’t Take It Sitting Down” is guaranteed to produce a smile before the flow gets deceptively dramatic in the “Fingers” cross of funk and fairground sort of metal. Go for this jerky swirl – it’s just perfectly flawed.


May 1, 2014

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