Here’s the extra short, totally mean review of the Drowned in Sound/SESAC night.
The name Cynic Guru gives no hint of what’s in store. But it inspires no confidence either. These guys are old, is the first impression. A violin is the second.
There are a few heavy riffs being thrown down, interspersed with mellow, clean singing passages. Simplicity is the recipe, but although the singer is apt, his violin soon becomes a nuisance.
Just Another Snake Cult are the least tight band I’ve had the displeasure of viewing in a long while. The songwriting is infantile at best and the drummer should step the fuck back from the kit before he does his own rep further damage. Enough said.
Mammút, on the other hand, might be the most fun live band in Iceland. They’re tight, forceful, full of energy and, despite seeming to play out almost every week, never manage to get boring. Kata, the singer, is charismatic and explosive as ever and the crowd is out in droves.
Agent Fresco go from awesome to abject faster than previously thought possible when they jump from technical, funky and drum driven madness to some of the most annoying vocals you’re ever likely to come across. Good performance though.
Crocodiles, who take stage 40 minutes too late, are a plodding nothingness. Addicted to a single beat and songs that go nowhere, the singer is barely heard and the melodies leave the audience with nothing tangible.
The Antlers, on the other hand, are a soothing, atmospheric experience laden with melancholic, poppy over tones. They are, furthermore, the only band to keep me transfixed in front of the stage tonight. Nökkvi from Gone Postal grabs my notebook and writes “Really shitty band ☺”, but no one seems to agree with him.
Joy Formidable are a nice surprise. The energy and sheer noise emanating from this power trio is a bit frightening and people are heard whispering that this might be the best performance this year’s festival has seen. Interjecting the double beater on the kick drum has seldom seemed so out of place but inventive and unique all the same.
What can you say about Mínus without sounding like a jaded scenester dick? It’s obvious that the men can perform, but what they’re performing as of late is highly questionable. Their long career spans various genres, many of them tackled nicely, but the current one not so much. They play short set of mostly new songs, but what older material there is clad in a new suit.
I voluntarily saw Benny Crespo’s Gang on Wednesday at NASA and I wish I hadn’t. Tonight’s performance does nothing to improve my impression. The less said, the better.