Lord knows what drummer shouted but it did sound slightly mental.
A packed SUB071 on a Friday night, full of faces familiar and new: thrash and noisecore is popular in Holland, but it’s still a nice feeling to see this club doing so well. A word must be said for the three (seemingly tripping) lads who turned up so out of it that they had seemingly lost all powers of speech, or indeed interaction with any sentient being.
First up was Crowd Surfers Must Die, an occasional and long-standing three piece described by excitable types at the venue as a “sci-fi noise-core tornado.” Jeroen from Boutros Bubba and Spoelstra created a sludgy wall of noise on guitar and an imposing gentleman called Judge screamed, spat out and warbled his way through a frankly indecipherable set of lyrics, all the while indulging in some pretty frenetic drumming. Third member was a gentleman - apparently called Space Commander, (better known I believe as Wichert), who played some form of Theremin, and other amalgams of electronic gadgetry. I couldn’t see what he played to be honest, as frankly, thrash / noise-core fans are all ridiculously tall… The resulting noise – brilliant in places - had various elements: from rambling, trippy riffery to short punchy shards of noise. All enveloped in a gloop of warm electronic fuzz. And Lord knows what drummer shouted but it did sound slightly mental.
A short interlude, then Sicilian death/grind-core act Heamophagus. The singer was a Lotharian type, whose affable demeanour between songs would change immediately as he used a menacing, throaty growl to introduce yet another song about body parts or a painful death. Musically the band created a set of shiny, brittle metallic sonic equations; there was a great deal of structure in their music which the two agile, slight guitarists seemed to take great delight in parading. Maybe it was a bit too analytical, too mathematic in places. Plus, (surprisingly?), there was no bass sound to speak of (you always imagine these gigs as deep bass rumbles of Neanderthal noise) and this might have given the gig a feeling of a slightly anaemic workout. Still, enjoyable enough.
Last up were Mesrine from Canada, dressed in the obligatory black tees and sans culottes (note to self: what is it with three quarter length pants and grindcore?). Mesrine’s singer also had a cheeky trick, (that of whistling / squeaking into the mike at regular intervals), one that actually added a certain indefinable something to the band’s gig. It was cheeky, in your face and, well… enjoyably irritating. Still outside of any tricks, Mesrine have a shuddering beat and a large rich sound, which they extended or curtailed with brutal efficiency. They have a considerable presence too, especially for a band that was all on the short size, in terms of stature. SUB’s crowd loved them, what had been developing as a slightly academic and humorous night got steamier and more intense, and some considerable dreadshaking was in evidence.
Top night, can’t beat the SUB for good clean fun.