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IMICUS: C.D. - 'Resolution'.
Imicus Records (2005).
Admittedly not the most colorful of covers in which the more you look in to the gray swearls, figures and shapes start to appear.
The whole sound comes over as remarkably professional for a self produced C.D. The opening INTRO is a bloody effective, surreal opening with an otherworldly embryonic sound. - Good fun in the studio was it?
SHADOWS has a progressive beat with a throbbing gallop and gorgeous guitar work with interludes of interspaced melodic sections, all powerfully sung using a mixed style to the vocals so they never come over samey or boring. There's an underlining feeling of real musicianship going on here.
YOUR LETTER ,is not opened with a paperknife of heavy intensity, instead having a ballad like opening with shared vocals and still mixing the growl and normal vocals in the way that bands like Opeth and Testament are good at achieving. It's a style that I quite like and this track demonstrates well how they can mix the gruff bluster, hard and heavy sound successfully with the soothing, mild and melodic together rather effectively.
Another ballad style opening to RETROSPECT with its dream like quality with not really that much going on, making it sound a tad dull and perhaps overlong. It has some stunning Maiden like riffery to the guitar work during the bridges though, a cross between lost preambling undirected sound, with really good guitar work.
As with a few of these tracks BREATHE has an all too steady opening, not capturing the intensity of a live gig and at one point almost comes to a standstill, along with pinging sounds to the guitar strings.
With a title like SERENITY you would probably be expecting another soft opening. It's faster paced though, with a gallop of drums and more growls to the vocals, which the vocalist does so well, here turning to a punk like barking gallop fused with metal riffs that has an almost Egyptian sound to the guitars. I cant say how much I'm enjoying the guitar work on this. A really good track and one for the mosh pit.
Another good track is WICKED PRAYER ,which has a story to the lyrics and an almost military precision to the percussion, with drums and guitars galloping in unison.
The last track before the epilogue DEMISE OF AN ANGEL has a really epic sound, sung and played with such passion, blending an Imicus trademark of 3 distinct styles - death metal growls, intricate guitar skills and melodic soothing tones. This is then followed by the EPILOGUE, which takes us back to the atmospheric laden opening.
Overall I think the C.D. not only demonstrates their intensity of their live gigs but also allows you to see other depths to their range and well worth looking out for at their C.D. permotion gigs.
Keith - © www.bedfordmetal.co.uk
Imicus, with Novacaine and Summerfall.
The Well, High Town Luton.
Saturday 2nd July 2005.
That’s twice in two weeks I have been impressed
with a Luton band (Stars Have Fallen in Bedford last week) and NOVACAINE
this week, having only heard of them before I have to say I wasn’t
expecting to be bowled over by their sheer presence and command of the
crowd. I suppose it helps playing to their known friends at their local
venue, where they are obviously liked, making The Well seem such a warm
friendly intimate venue.
Another obviously popular with Luton band recently formed
and with members from Luton faves Dilate, making IMICUS, a kind of supergroup.
It is evident that each member is a top musician, with totally amazing
guitar work and a six-string bassist that puts everything in to it,
moving well on stage looking the part and not just lurking in the background.
Dead Girl On Pavement and Penny Racers Last Journey
The vandalism faithful were not shaken by this however, and another very respectable turn out appeared to watch two band who, in their own ways, surprised me greatly
First band of the night Penny Racers Last Journey had played the week previous in ‘The Park’ and I had been unimpressed, however tonight they held my attention. Sitting on the fence somewhere between punk and rock, they have a sound that can only be described a a wall of noise – there are some great riffs coming out of their guitarist and the rhythm section holds it all together well, they are slightly let down by the vocals however. I’m probably picky, but I would have liked a bit more variation – however there is a lot of potential on show and I’ll look forward to catching them again
Our other band of the evening, and new headliners by default, Dead Girl On Pavement were a breath of fresh air for me. They describe themselves as ‘Goth-Hop’ and for me that’s a bit of a red flag – I don’t like it when bands try and pigeonhole themselves, and I really don’t like Goth music – but whatever ‘Goth-Hop’ is, I’m sold. In the dark and dingy sweatbox that is The Well these guys filled out the stage with atmospheric guitar work and broody vocals. The lights worked well for them, and a smoke machine would not have gone amiss in places but alas was not to be. There were a few problems with backing tracks (they have no bassist or drummer, so this is pre-recorded) but only minor hiccups and easily overcome. I was very impressed with the guitar work which at times came across as a darker ‘Pink Floyd’, and the vocals were top notch – rarely overstated, which would have ruined the atmosphere, but her range was proved with a cover of Paula Cole’s ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’
All in all, a great night out. One good performance, one great one, and yet another success for the lads and lasses involve in ‘Vandalism’ - if I had them you’d get three thumbs up
Dead Girl on Pavement (Demo)
Not so long ago Luton was voted Britain’s worst town. This is understandable, as all it has is an airport and a big Vauxhall factory. Luton is a town which most people occasionally pass on their way into London on the M1 and just as quickly forget. But thankfully out of this godforsaken place, I have been given a reason to bother to visit Luton in the shape of DGOP.
It’s been a long while coming, but with DGOP we finally have a band that is capable of mixing downbeat morose vocals with effects-driven guitars, the likes of which have been missing in British music since the glory days of shoe-gazers and all things angst.
Karina Rosenberg’s vocals are a love them or hate them affair: imagine a party with all your favourite female vocalists (Siouxsie Sioux, Belinda Butcher and Tracey Thorn are in attendance). It was certainly refreshing to hear warm husky vocals sung, rather than the brash shouting that has of late dominated the music scene.
The music is clearly of the highest order – warm tones of chorus and delay are littered over the track Scar, with acoustic guitars strumming away in the background.
Scar’s subtleties are counter-balanced with the imtimidation which oozes from the track Wry Smile. DGOP use bruising guitars in creating a track full of claustrophobic connotations, which would easily impress doomsters of all varieties.
For this cynical reviewer, DGOP are quite simply incandescent with musical promise and intelligence. Living in such a crap town like Luton obviously heightens the emotionality of your music. DGOP can only go on in leaps and bounds if this demo is anything to go by.
4 out of 5.
Andrew Humbles (High Voltage).
Imicus, Triggerbox, Ardent Kicks.
Before we get to that though, we have the support bands.
First band of the night Ardent Kicks are a very late addition to the lineup, apparently only added in the last couple of days due to a cancellation. However they soon make the stage their own, clearly used to using the abundant stage that Club 85 has to offer. Their songs are tight, and well played – coming across somewhere between emo and a more straight ahead rock sound. The band appears to be held together by a talented female bass player who, aswell as carrying the songs musically, also mouths along to the songs and proves to be another personality for the vocalist to bounce off of throughout their show. Which brings me to the vocalist, who for me was unfortunately the weak link. He seemed a little unsure of himself, which could have been down to hayfever which has been a thorn in the side of quite a few vocalists this summer, so I won’t hold it against him as he did show a lot of promise – however he does need to work on his stage show, as he seemed to spend most of the show dancing like a chicken, which for me took away from the seriousness of the music. Overall though, I was quite impressed and their set closer showed a variation in their music that most bands are missing
When Triggerbox took the stage I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The threepiece walked onto the stage looking like they had walked straight out of ‘Deliverance’ and the drummer sat down behind a kit with what looked like a casio keybord attatched to it. Then they started to play and it all made sense, if sense is what you can call it! Let me get one thing straight here, this band are amazing – every now and again a band appears and changes the way you see music, and this band are gonna be one of those. They come across somewhere between ‘The Presidents Of The United States’ and ‘Kid Rock’ and so much more to boot. Trust me, check these guys out live while you still can, as they have just signed a deal and in 6 months will be everywhere you look
Which left only the band of the night, Imicus. The hype
machine has been rolling non stop on this band since they recruited
their new vocalist and guitarist from Luton based band ‘Dilate’,
and with an album to sell tonight off of the back of offloading 1000
copies of taster single ‘Breathe’ there is a lot to live
up to. And they get close
Akiva, Tilt, Dead Girl on Pavement.
At The Park. Luton. Sunday 29th May 2005
By The Metatron
Recently The Park changed it’s live format from
weekly to monthly events and the change has been for the better.
Tonight we have three very different bands.
First up at Dead Girl on Pavement, an odd name for a very odd band.
Consisting of a female lead singer, two guitarists, but
no bass or drums. The rhythm section seems to be produced from backing
tapes or samplers.
However their sound is interesting. Reminiscent of the early 80’s Goth scene (think Siouxie and the Banshees, Jesus and the Mary Chain and early Cure), D.G.O.P. would go down a storm in a dark, smoky, dungeon of a Goth club where the spirit of The Sisters of Mercy still lives on.
Unfortunately, as clever as the idea is, D.G.O.P.’s music does not transpose well to the light, open space of The Park, to an audience who mostly just don’t get it.
Second up is Tilt.
A standard looking four piece, lead vocals/guitarist,
guitarist, bass and somewhere behind the amps a drummer.
Don’t get me wrong here, these boys can play. They are well rehearsed, tight, with well structured songs, but it all sounds like Oasis, right down to the whining Gallagher’esque vocals.
Three quarters of the way through Tilt announce that they
will now play 2 covers, so we get The Verve sounding like Oasis and
Pink Floyd sounding like …… well you get the point.
Tilt work hard enough, although the bass player seems
to enjoy looking at his amp rather than the crowd.
Finally the BIG act of the night Akiva.
Last time I saw Akiva, they didn’t impress me. Tonight is very very different.
Clever use of a backing track introduces the first song, it’s punchy, strong and upbeat.
All of the band seems to enjoy being in front of a crowd and the practice gained from the extensive tour they are undergoing pays off. Both bass and guitar player grin and sing along while the front man punches the air in a classic Roger Daltrey style.
The whole set is varied, catchy, entertaining with the front man switching to guitar and then keyboards. All of the band can obviously play and enjoy doing it, but it is the whole rather than the individual that really shines through.
Akiva are superior, slick, well produced Indie Rock, touring with their latest CD and riding high in the Pulse Unsigned charts for a second month.
Buy the CD, vote and catch them live, but most of all enjoy their music and performances.
Filmstock Launch – Market Hill Luton 26th May 2005.
Daze One – Lime – Bowfinger – The Yaks
Sup up your beer and collect your fags - there’s a row goin’ on down near er… Debenhams?
The sixth annual Filmstock Festival starts tonight with an open air screening of Charlie & the Chocolate factory with support from four live bands.
The Yaks are down from Liverpool to play this event and also to play a gig @ Luton University’s Sub-Club, 27th May.
They play a kind of melodic, angsty rock to open up proceedings.Whilst well received by the crowd, their set never really sparkles tonight and they come across rather ordinary and pedestrian.
Flying the flag for Luton are Bowfinger, who I must admit I’ve been listening to online for a few days.
Whilst aware of their formidable reputation, prior to
tonight I was slightly sceptical about them. The recordings that I’ve
heard sound slightly flat and one-dimensional.
A tight & powerful live band playing Mod influenced catchy Rock tunes.
Bowfinger impressed the Hell outta me - everything a good Rock band should be. Think of the Jam in their heyday – a total crowd pleaser.
Eight piece band with lots of percussion and a brass section.
After their opening number, an instrumental, I was afraid that it was going to be a rather long half hour.
My fears were unfounded though as for their second tune their lead singer appeared for a cover of Brand New Heavies’ tune ‘Apparently Nothing’.
What a voice this girl has - Shara Nelson meets Aretha Franklin, very, very impressive.
Lime play a couple more instrumentals which I recognise but couldn’t tell you the name of and close their set with covers of ‘Fever’ & James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’.
Entertaining stuff - adding to the party atmosphere of the night.
With a lead singer this good & musicians this talented I’d like to hear them do some original material.
Introspective, Indie Rock from Brighton, with quite a large tip of the hat toward Idlewild.
Enjoyed their music but I can’t help thinking they were wrongly placed on the bill.
Following Bowfinger’s incendiary set & Lime’s carnival atmosphere would have been no easy task if you were the Rolling Stones. Daze One understandably look a little lost.
They do get into it however, the crowd like them and by the end Daze One look as if they’re really enjoying themselves.
The crowd clap along to their set closer and a good time was had by all.
Good stuff but not headline material yet.
Filmstock kicks off in earnest Wednesday June 1st with a screening of Undertow at Cineworld - Website
Bowfinger are playing Luton Carnival Monday May 30th (12:45 Market Hill) - Catch ‘em if you can! - Website
The Ultimate Truth
Oxen Road 20th May 2005
Having heard these guys on Myspace, I was immediately impressed & I’ve been listening to their 3 Demo songs off & on for a week or so. I didn’t however realise just how young they are.
Seeing them live, I’m not so much impressed as Blown Away!
Mixing Punk with a Ska feel - Not an un-trodden path I know - but they play with SO much energy! Energy that comes from youth I guess.
Anyone reading this should go see this band live as soon as possible – they made me feel young again. Inspirational!
A Teenage Riot!
The Occasion simply exude COOL! As any band with a thin-line telecaster should!
Twin guitars compliment each other perfectly in a ‘seemingly’ effortless way.
Bass & drums are both tight & slick.
Frontman Andy has the voice of an angel & you simply know he’s singing from the heart. His lyrics are un-guarded, heartfelt & charming.
The Occasion play it quite straight tonight with the exception of the last song, a new one, which points toward a more raucous future.
If they were to really let themselves go, they really might surprise us & possibly themselves too.
An absolutely spot-on performance!
Hmm – Haven’t got much to say really…
The songs were performed professionally enough but there seems to be some kind of indecision as to whether this is a band or a solo artist with backing musicians.
Hat’s off to the guy who was ‘Stand-in’ drummer tonight – you did the band / artist proud.
Came across with a 60s kinda feel, (The Zombies / Animals), with Jeff Buckley pretensions.
They sound like The Godfathers - Imagine the Hives jamming with Ian Dury & The Blockheads.
Personally I didn't like them at all - but lots of people did.
Had to leave before they played (as my girly was tired) but the anticipation was HUGE – I’m sure you rocked guys – but I’ll have to wait till the Filmstock thing to see you again. Looking forward to it!
Respect to Justin Saban, (Latent Lemon) who I’m sure had a large hand in putting this night together & Remedy Sound did a great job with the er… sound.
The Ultimate Truth
Sameday Service, The Kindred, Girls Hits Boy, Hammerfluff
Tonight also had a sizable crowd looking forward to a night of punk music.
First on are a relatively new band Hammerfluff.
So it was a very pleasant surprise when Hammerfluff got
stuck in and showed competency beyond their years.
By no means the finished article, but entertaining and proving that even a new band can play their own stuff well and entertain a crowd.
Second up are another local band promoting themselves
like crazy, Girl Hits Boy.
Unable to stay in time with each other, or even at a constant pace (the drumming speeding up and slowing down as the band become confused and disjointed), GHB look and sound like they have been practicing in their bedrooms, probably not in the same house or at the same time.
I think they were aiming at the same territory as Hammerfluff, but missed by a mile. 2 cover versions were also murdered during their set and there was more chat between songs than actual music.
However there were highlights.
Let's hear it for Hammefluff - BIG CHEER.
So to rescue the night are The Kindred, back for various universities and widely regarded as Luton's top Nu-Punk band.
With the large contingent of the "XLD" ready
to lap it up, The Kindred boys did not disappoint.
The set is varied, almost to the point of getting lost, as the pit stops to work out if they can get carried away to the next song, but flawlessly played and professionally presented.
Rumour has it they may be looking to expand to a 4 piece,
a promising and exciting thought.
And so to the headline act of the night, Sameday Service.
With twins (guitar and drums) both singing and an unstoppable
mosh monster on bass, they kicked out by the numbers Punk which was
not too aggressive.
Sameday Service have obviously had lots of live experience and were an enjoyable way to round the night off, but I found their material to be a bit easy to predict and ultimately unsatisfying.
However enough praise to them simply for getting off their
backsides and touring our little old country, with music they believe
To sum up, another entertaining and well supported night
at The Well. With more dates to follow this venue just won't die.
Atakku, Dilate, Bilker, Alpha High
Anyway, enough with the cynicism, and on with the bands
As ALPHA HIGH take the stage my attention is immediately drawn to the colossal afro adorned by their bassist, but alas, this does not appear to be the house that funk built. They start well, with an instrumental piece, but soon their sound begins to fall apart. Admittedly they are interrupted twice by microphone problems, but I can’t help thinking that this is a band that has rushed into gigging before they are ready? They lack any tightness, the vocalist appears bored on stage and sounds like he’s struggling, and they play one song twice. However, in their favor, they occasionally stumble upon a decent hook, and their guitarist has some clever ideas. Back into the practice rooms for a few more months, and they might reemerge as something listenable
Next up we have BILKER, who I’ve heard good things about, but have not yet seen, so I’m ready for a treat – and I almost get one, almost. They have a fairly tight sound, and when their vocalist opens his throat and screams they certainly show a lot of promise. Unfortunately, he also has a tendency to ‘sing’, which doesn’t seem a strong point as he seems to be tone deaf! Once again we are subjected to a large gap in the middle of the set, as the ‘Sound Engineer’ seems to struggle with the simplest of tasks, and after much faffing about and swapping of microphones, they get back under way. They put on a good show, get the crowd going, and certainly create a lot of energy – as is evident by the sweat pouring off of their vocalist, but I feel that, maybe if they played to their strengths, they could be so much more
DILATE are probably one of my favorite ‘local’ acts, and I find myself looking forward to their set, knowing I’ll get something good – I was wrong. I’m probably coming across as harsh, but I want to get a couple of things clear – the sound quality tonight is awful, so bands are really struggling to sound like they should. And tonight, let’s be clear on this, tonight Dilate are abysmal. If you’ve ever watched a ‘pub cover band’ you might catch my drift on this one, you know the songs, know how good they should sound, but for some reason there is a band on stage murdering them. Their vocalist seems tired, their guitarist is complaining about a sore hand, and the whole set is really, really loose. It’s a shame, but they still manage to put a smile everyone’s face when their vocalist is almost hospitalized by an overexcited fan in the pit, but emerges grinning from ear to ear
Final band of the night are ATAKKU, hometown boys who
have been getting a lot of attention in the rock press about their recent
tour and upcoming album ‘Dark Acts Of Friendship’. From
the moment they step on stage you can sense the experience in them –
they are tight as hell, they are full of energy, microphone troubles
are dealt with without breaking up the flow, and they have a fantastic
vocalist who comes across as the personification of rage. I will be
looking forward to the album, as their sound does not let up throughout
the entire set – it is shear brutality, never letting you catch
your breath. The set is however disappointingly short, and you can see
their frustration with certain over zealous people in the audience.
By the time they walk off stage you get the feeling you have just watched
a band ‘going through the motions’, and I was left wondering
what the experience would be like if they were truly on the ball.
Reverie, I Am The Door, Eyelash
At The Well, Luton. Friday March 25th 2005
By The Metatron
Friday night is presented by Shoot the Sun artist development, who have hired the services of Remedy Sound’s PA and expertise, to showcase 3 unsigned bands.
Luton band REVERIE are first up tonight. One time big
local name, Reverie have had to endure the loss of two members. Now
back to full strength they launch into a very atmospheric Indie set.
Second band tonight are I AM THE DOOR. A few rungs further
up the Indie evolutionary ladder than the first band, I Am The Door
have played all over the country and even had some airplay on Radio
Headlining tonight are EYELASH. Having played in Luton
a couple of weeks previously some of the audience are familiar with
the bands music.
©2005 Roaring Teapot