DZ Deathrays / PROM / Bypolar [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 13/8/14]
Although current events are calling much attention to The Boileroom’s soundproofing, personally I’m starting to think they should allow at least a little noise to escape. Sitting in the beer garden running through emails, I almost forgot there was a gig on and could easily have missed:
This was probably the best stage-fright-afflicted set I’ve seen from any band to date. Bypolar came close to pushing through obvious mindset issues with a shit-ton of effort, but sadly didn’t quite make it. Nonetheless, they deserve plenty of respect for trying.
Music-wise there’s real potential here – think Muse meet Queens Of The Stone Age, and you’re on the right track. Bypolar have some cool riffs and a frontman who’s not afraid to move, despite the insidious and ever-present threat of big-opening-slot nerves. Overall, what’s needed here is more practice and more gigging experience – things that come with time, but are ultimately inevitable the more Bypolar push on with things.
Veering between trashy garage-surf and noisy art rock, PROM are serious genre terrorists pushing it all out with fuckloads of attitude. Frontwoman Angela Won-Yin Mak possesses more balls than a hundred male contemporaries, and as a unit PROM milk more meaning from a single chord than some bands do with a million notes. An upcoming release boasted jazzy drums and Tarantino movie vibes before PROM’s set climaxed with extra helpings of art-rocker chaos, hyper-aggressive downstrokes, some beautifully unrestrained soloing, and a guitar-discarding climax.
Overall? Fucking awesome.
As a two-piece, DZ Deathrays are capable of owning their stage with a strap-unlocking energy that many five-pieces fail to muster. Adding an extra instrumentalist for their newer tunes really pushed things over the top with some extra-seductive thickness – and I’m going to end this sentence before it gets any more awkwardly X-rated. Anyway, this set was aggressive, frenetic, and downright fun, featuring instant classic Less Out Of Sync and provoking happy and carefree pogo pits.
Anyone who turned up not knowing who DZ Deathrays are probably left a converted fan. I definitely did.
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