The Foreign Monkeys take stage first on Sunday night. There isn’t much to report of their show. The crowd is sparse, as customary for such an early slot. The Monkeys address the crowd in English, which seems like something the minority of local bands have done to during the festival (maybe it because they’re the Foreign Monkeys?).
The music is middle of the road rock n’ roll of the British school, and it is rather bland. The singer could be better but the energy and stage presence make up a bit for the general humdrum.[Thank you Bogi. On to Þórður Ingi…]
“The people’s band” is a self-definition that seems fitting for Seattle band Massy Ferguson. There’s not much to say about their musical direction except that they sound like the kind of blue-collar, middle-of-the-road rock that you can imagine blaring through tinny speakers in your average US diner, sounding like Bruce Springsteen’s malnourished offspring. This public display of proud Americana is introduced to a venue where there are people everywhere except on the dancefloor. Massy Ferguson sound exactly like they belong on the radio, though a more inventive way to do it could be through some undetermined Cronenberg-ish body horror media, where they would suck you into the radio and melt your brain with traditional pop music. Just an idea.[Thank you Þórður! Let’s see what Florian Zühlke had to say about the next band…]
Next up were XIII, a band that made its name in the ‘90s. You can still hear that, as the grunge era drips out of every note they play this evening. XIII’s heavy grooving hard rock with certain metal nuances brings to mind the likes of Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Old-school indeed, and you can imagine this band being quite successful back in the day. Also there was quite a bunch of people there to see them, forty people on an Airwaves Sunday is not bad, especially when your competition is Dan Deacon! That XIII’s appearance didn’t convince me in the end was first and foremost due to their bland music. Listening to it was kind of like visiting a museum: “So this is how people used to do stuff?” Was this really heavy and dark music at a time? Yes, but today there are certainly better ways…”[Thank you Flo! Next, let’s find out what Aðalsteinn Jörundsson has to say about the last band of the evening…]
The worst slot of the festival, titled TBA in the pamphlet, turned out to be manned by Cliff Clavin. When I saw them last year, they managed to make a lot of their influences sound their own, but this year I was just bored. Perhaps just as bored as they seemed to be. Possibly they were tired after the weekend and possibly not prepared for this show, maybe this came up last minute for them, too. I don’t know. I at least didn’t enjoy their set. I thought it was weak and although most of the crowd sang along with their songs I could see they weren’t particularly into it. Even the drummer didn’t deliver the way I’ve seen him deliver before. It was a sad and tired little spectacle where both talent and audience went through the motions to get the job done so they could go home. Maybe Airwaves needs to re-think their Sunday Sódóma strategy for next year.
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