It’s fair to say 2009 has been good to Liverpool.
Regular readers will be well versed in superlatives and OTT rhetoric from the Getintothis annuls but if you’ve been there you’ll know most of it was justified.
So then, it was apt that one of the city’s finest music heads should host his night’s fourth birthday caboodle in the city’s finest venue with the city’s finest bands of the year supporting San Fran’s finest musical export.
See, Meshuggy (aka Darren Roper), like Evol and Samizdat, don’t do good, they only do great. And tonight is no exception.
Indica Ritual showed off their new skills during Music Week, and while tonight they start slowly, more angular than the rubbery rhythmic attack we prefer, it’s on an extended bass/drum assault four songs in that we’re really starting to believe they’re on to something special. Think Talking Heads playing Twister with Battles.
Just when you think they’ve backed themselves into a corner they shapeshift into a more complex position and slam you square on with a deep hit to belly.
Dual vocals vie for attention amid a clattering of sharp riffs and keyboard muscle – it’s fun, but with a distinctly sinister flavour.
A similar dish of dark delight is served up by Liverpool’s undoubted success story of the year: Wave Machines‘ Wave If Your Really There is the City’s record of the year hands down; whether blurting from Dave Pichilingi‘s stereo on Rodney Street, the busted-up speakers in Korova or pumping from a half-arsed ipod on the Northern Line they’re candy-coated anthems for the slightly perverse persuasion has dominated from the get go.
Heck, if you’ve not been involved in some bedsheets action to Keep The Lights On this year, you simply aint been in the game.
Tonight feels like a summation of things Wave – numbers treble around the Kazimier’s stage, bodies inevitably bob and there’s the prerequisite singalong during Punk Spirit.
The flourishes come thick and fast – James’ clarinet solo in Dead Houses, Vidar’s cheeky, subtle fills in The Greatest Escape We Ever Made and Tim and Karl’s rich vocal melodies in the expansive title track. If there’s a downside, it’s that it’s all too brief. But, whatchagonnado?
And so to the main course – Deerhoof. Three warlords of RIFF and a Japanese mighty mouse.
The collision of breezeblock noise contrasted with Satomi Matsuzaki‘s coo-coo vocal textures is not just fun, it’s borderline hysterical.
You know exactly what to expect but when it arrives you’re still marvelling at the magical chemistry. First song in, and you’d be hard pushed to find anyone not beaming ear to ear.
The tonal juxtaposition of thirty second concrete hardcore with the childlike delivery from the dinky Matsuzaki shouldn’t work but does. Unlike much of their recorded output, tonight’s show gives them the platform to extend every weapon in their armoury.
John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez (hiding behind an impressive black mop of hair) use every opportunity to wig out to the max – Matsuzaki even clambering atop of the Kazimier’s sidewall steps to oversee and giggle at the chaos fusion below – while Greg Saunier takes drumming to an altogether level reducing his kit to devastation.
During one particular thunderous finale they raise their instruments to the heavens in unison, offering up their sacrificial sounds and you almost expect a Godlike finger to puncture the octagonal roof with the words ‘Children, you are the chosen one’s,’ raining from the heavens.
It doesn’t. But it should.
They pause momentarily to pay their dues to Liverpool and most in particular Samizdat’s Ellis who’s disc jockey skills haven’t gone unnoticed and are given a big thumbs up from Saunier, as the celebratory tone of the evening reaches a zenith.
Minutes later their back to what they do best. Ruining your ears in the very best possible way. Happy Liverpool.