Electric Mary / Kyshera / Broken Chords [Live Review – The Borderline, London, 13/11/14]
The Borderline – a cramped basement located around the corner from London’s infamous Crobar – is the perfect venue for a night of unrelenting rock. This time out, it’s safe to say that every band on the bill delivered exactly that.
Broken Chords mix flamboyant, strutting, and sexualised showmanship with rock solid instrumental skills. If you like your frontmen in your face, attacking their guitars with Pete Townshend windmills one second and posing like Hendrix the next, Broken Chords are your kind of band. Add in some stonking rock riffs, wicked tunes, and an overall Tarantino bar band vibe, and you have a trio that few would volunteer to follow.
Kyshera clearly like a challenge; as well as dauntlessly taking the stage after that spectacular, they’re also taking Broken Chords on tour with them next year. On this evidence, those shows are going to be fucking electric; whereas Broken Chords keep things grounded and earthy, Kyshera push skyward with politically charged lyrics, while attacking their instruments like caged animals thrown scraps of meat. Previews of future Kyshera releases suggest that these guys are aiming for a stadium-grade future, with the 30 Seconds To Mars-tinged Gone going over well. For now, though, Kyshera’s die-hard followers were more than happy to go mental for familiar closer Mannequins.
By this point, Electric Mary had to top a pair of hyperkinetic sets – a serious challenge for any band. Nonetheless, these guys forged forth through a raucous set fuelled by pure rock’n’roll adrenaline. They might not win any originality contests, but Electric Mary wouldn’t give a fuck about them anyway. Instead, they fly the classic rock flag so ferociously that it’s impossible to take your eyes off them for a single moment. Electric Mary’s fans lapped up labyrinthine legato licks, epic-scale call-and-response interactions, compressed-air riffage and even a brutal yet tasteful drum solo. Electric Mary are so relentless that they must be fuelled by actual Relentless – and even though purist retro vibes aren’t 100% my thing, I still left more than satisfied that I’d witnessed a job flawlessly done.
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