Here it comes! The next DEF! Finally! And this time it’s really exciting due to having the delights of Vile Electrodes AND Factory Acts along. As is quite obvious it takes place on Friday the 20th of December.
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We’re back at the Vintage Rock Bar this time on St George Gate. We’ll give you some directions etc a bit further down after we’ve told you about the bands in case you don’t know them.
Well isn’t this rather nice? We’ve been sent a CD to review through the post! So impressed by our amazing critical faculties after reading our Vile Electrodes album review that they felt we were ideal to give a solid and fair review of their work.
It’s been a while. That we’ve been waiting that is. Not just since we last updated this site, though that is also true. Anyway we’ve known of Vile Electrodes for around 3 years or so now and they’d been around a bit before then. Even back in 2010 the album was ‘imminent’ and so it remained for the next three years until finally it’s popped up after quite a swathe of eps recently (well over the last year) (and if 3 counts as ‘a swathe). They probably had several million tracks to choose from that we know from their live performances. So how many have made the cut for the album? Is it a quadruple CD release on 80 minute cds?
This is the second of the new, regular alternative electronic night organised by purveyor of industrial filth, Kurt Dirt (Don’t know of him? Go here:Kurt Dirt’s house of filth ). The facebook page for hardware is here. The first night included Nightcall, Jan Doyle Band, Kurt Dirt and Wrapped in Plastic and was pretty spectacular (even attended by Vile Electrodes!), so obviously a second night had to happen. This also happened to be the debut public appearance of our Liverpool electro space goth-punk friends…
It was a hot sunny Saturday evening that DEF ventured out to Wakefield to see our good friends Berlyn Trilogy. Which obviously tells you dear reader right away that maybe this review isn’t likely to be on the negative side of things. It’s pretty hard to be negative about a band that sound this good anyway.
For those of you who haven’t popped over to the band pages and looked them up perhaps there should be a little explanation of what they’re all about. They hail from Wakefield and they play atmospheric songs, passionate, human songs with an almost film soundtrack like quality to them. An expansive, multi layered sound. Dorian takes the lead vocal role with the occasional additional vocals from James and Faye handles the bass frequencies either with her Moog Little Phatty or her beautiful precious Rickenbacker bass guitar.
Like many synth bands they opt to have everyone playing rather than have a ‘front man’ so to speak. This isn’t entirely DEF’s preference but it seems to work pretty well with these lovely chaps.
Anyway about the gig itself – it was in support of Wakefield Wheeled Cats female roller derby team. Which is an unusual thing to be performing in support of but it didn’t stop them from seemingly going down a storm to a fairly well packed room. The sound seemed a little off with Dorian’s vocals rather loud above pretty much everything else and the bass frequencies making the PA system buzz somewhat.
The set was 30 minutes long, the highlight of which was possibly The Drone with its slightly more subtle vocals and it’s nice to hear James taking more of a lead role. However the ending song ‘Words of A Stranger’ was performed with a wonderful amount of passion and vigor more than has been seen from the previously. In fact Dorian on the whole really seemed to be reaching a whole new level of power in his performance. Though this may not be to James’ advantage when Dorian distracts him…
Faye’s Rickenbacker bass is a beautiful work of art which she played with such skill and prowess, adding that extra life to the performance where necessary. It’s such a shame that people seem to assume that she’s just a girlfriend of the band so many times when she’s actually such an accomplished musician. Sexism seems so horrible rife in the live circuit. Still I hope that there were a few idiots gobsmacked by her playing.
Berlyn Trilogy’s songs are melodious and memorable and performed with an emotive sincerity that makes it necessary to experience them live. It will be a crime if they don’t get considerably more attention in the near future.
Barnsley’s (don’t let that put you off) foremost electronic band have finally got round to releasing their debut album. We may be a little biased here at D.E.F. but we think it’s an absolute corker.
Entirely written, produced, arranged, recorded, mastered, promoted et al by musical force of nature Izzie Kirk, and she’s done it spot on.
It’s a constant annoyance when artists come up with and idea for a song and turn it into an album (we’re looking at you Gary Numan). Fortunate then that this album offers a delightful array of colourful soundscapes . Kicking off with the lighter touch of quirky pop openerLight Show, going through the slow and subtle (shall we say eclectic?) Hours and Days and finishing with the euphorically galactic (Here Is) The Light.
While the album never fails to be thrilling in some way at any point there are certain moments which we feel are stand out points. The track Hours and Days remains a firm favourite here for its stunning artistry. It is quiet, subtle and wonderfully inventive. An almost tribal beat and dual vocal lines create a dark mystery and give rise to swirling colours and shapes in the mind. In quite the opposite direction (though no less artistic) is Burn Downwhich is utterly irresistible dance floor material. It’s so driving it’s impossible to keep still whilst it’s on. Control Freak deserves special mention for some sublime melody work in the chorus and instrumental. There are some perfect note sequences there. Note sequences that just feel so incredibly right and they do SOMETHING to your body and you just know it. When these sequences come in they offer such expansion to the soundscape.
Also of particular note are the arrangements in the album. The songs are often quite densely packed with sounds but yet Izzie somehow manages to balance everything out and stop it becoming a cacophany. Everything is clear and in its place. Which is a lot harder than you may think and many people may take this for granted. Not us. We marvel at all those different sounds all living in harmony with each other. Also the songs structures are a fascinating departure from the fairly typical verse/chorus idea. Often starting on an intro piece which never gets repeated in the song’s main theme (such as light show). Just goes to display what an incredible creative force we’re dealing with here.
If we have to be at all negative we’d have to say we’d edit out Girl Star and Wasted and probably pair them up as a single or some such. It’s not to say they aren’t very good but they don’t seem to fit the journey on which the album takes us It doesn’t stop us wholeheartedly recommending you buy this album.
Which you can either by going to a Tokyo Witch Hunt gig and picking up a CD in person or perhaps buying it on Itunes, Bandcamp or perhaps Amazon. It doesn’t matter which. Just buy it.