Loud & Leary, shame no-one seems interested in the main fruits on offer from Portland, Oregon. Orla Foster gets drowned out by the lads.
The Red Deltas are absolutely, unequivocally men. They wear: T-shirts slashed open to reveal hirsute chests. They play: Stamping, bellowing mega-anthems not too far removed from Kasabian and U2 – fleshed out with mildly abstract lyrics and ‘Woooooahh‘ refrains. All the better for roaring along to at festivals.
A baby-faced bassist nearly lets down the band’s bloke-o-meter, but luckily the god of testosterone has blessed him with some extra-large tattooed biceps. And let’s not overlook their mates, one of whom invades the stage to sing a verse while the band look on, shaking their heads as if to say, ‘Oh Finchy, what are you like?‘
It’s accomplished yet hard to engage with – especially you’re unfamiliar with the set – or not slugging back a beer at T In The Park.
A similar helping of macho posturing is provided by the Rialto Burns, whose sound is sometimes stripped down to Interpol basics, other times fuzzy and unfocused.
But the lead singer has mastered an Ian Brown simian pout and towering McCulloch wail – throwback elements which work pretty well in the band’s favour. And he sure knows how to strut.
Last of all, and with decidely less swagger than the other bands, are Baby Monster, two electro-nerds from Portland, Oregon.
As they perch behind what seems like acres of machinery, it’s clear they come from the bedroom-laptop-tinkering school of dance music, and haven’t quite got used to crowds yet.
Despite their timid stage presence, however, their sound is big, enveloping, and attractively offset by a ceiling of twinkling lights.
Ultra-Violence and Beethoven combines lurching, gristly synth with a sweet falsetto while She Comes To Life is an upbeat, affirming pop song with a pleasantly disembodied chorus.
Gentle yet euphoric, it’s a shame that Baby Monster aren’t surrounded by hordes of appreciative fans tonight, waving lighters and letting their hair down.
But that, of course, is the flipside to Sound City: with so many quality acts performing at the same time, it’s impossible to fit everything in.