Crocus, We Came Out Like Tigers, Fine Modern Gentlemen, Picasshole: Arena House, Liverpool

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Pig AIDS may have claimed Youves, but Crocus are simply unstoppable as Jon Davies found out.


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As part of Brickface Press’ fourth zine launch the audience expected Nuneaton’s Youves to rip up Liverpool’s secluded art space with their brand of spastic dance-punk.
Unfortunately the band had contracted swine flu a couple of days prior their arrival, so instead were swiftly substituted by the Crocus from Falmouth.
The line up could not be any more different in terms of noise, but is slowly becoming the norm for the Liverpool art-rock scene as the night opened up with Picasshole, a one man band with background loops and samples.
Starting very coyly, the room slowly filled with sounds of shakers, clanking furniture and watery effects before forming the songs, simple yet affecting, Picasshole is definitely one for fans of Sigur Ros‘ more intimate moments. Unfortunately the set was marred slightly by sound problems that seemed to have worked with the subdued cacophony of the loops until the guitar began to cut out, but Picasshole is one to look out for, having impressed the audience regardless of technical glitches.
Next were local folk collective Fine Modern Gentleman, who possessed a few good numbers with chilled out vocal harmonies, however were mostly unremarkable. In a line up where all other performances had something fresh, FMG could only muster a sound that had been heard hundreds of times before from the 1960s Joni Mitchell folk all the way up to acts like James Morrison.
The stage presence of band leader Joel Murray did not endear to the crowd either, at one point forgetting the lyrics to one of the songs.
Brickface house band We Came Out Like Tigers go from strength to strength with every set they play. Their style of hardcore is not necessarily heavy to what the average listener would suspect, but when they pull off their brittle sound with such enthusiasm, you can’t help but find the band fascinating live.
The live sound has become tighter, the band more together, the vocals of Olly Smith and Simon Barr complementing each other seamlessly and the interplay between guitar, bass and drums more controlled, WCOLT are a band to stick with as they seek to find their own niche in the hardcore scene.
Within the first few seconds the audience knew they were seeing a band who were going to play out of their skins from beginning to end. Part of the ever exciting We Heart Records roster, Crocus were brutal, but not in a boneheaded way. Instrumental patterns shifted rapidly between time signatures, from jazz grooves to blast beats as the band hurtled maniacally hardly stopping for breath.
Towards the end of their set Crocus slowed the pace down slightly, but not letting up on the intensity of riffs or the caged violence of their frontman.
Yes, Crocus is a screamo band, but probably one of the loudest most energetic bands seen in Liverpool so far this year that one would easily forget they’re lumped in with other floppy fringed MTV rock acts.
Liverpool is hardly known to be the hub of rock other than the occasional wave of 1960s throwback bands.
One can only hope bands as heavy, complex and confrontational as Crocus tour again and show our local scene how much more exciting music is elsewhere in the UK.
http://www.myspace.com/crocusband
http://www.myspace.com/wecameoutliketigers
http://www.myspace.com/finemoderngentleman

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