Liverpool Sound City 2012: Vasco da Gama, The History Of Apple Pie, Crash Of Rhinos, Bleached, Death At Sea: Screenadelica, Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool

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Crash of Rhinos live at Sound City 2012.jpg
Liverpool Sound City 2012 keeps on kicking, just as well as Getintothis’ Will Fitzpatrick finds himself flagging, that is before a heard of rhinos and a young Liverpool band boot him into next week.


When Kurt Cobain goofed about in a dress, it raised some interesting questions about hetero-normativity and the macho bullshit surrounding rock music in general.
Maybe it was intentional, maybe not, but the befrocked Death At Sea are beset by no such context. It just comes across as forced, ‘wacky’ and… well, a bit ill-judged, perhaps. Meh, no matter.
Their recorded material presents a neat little racket that doesn’t feel worlds away from Cymbals Eat Guitars, but for some reason this translates to uninspiring, mid-paced pop-punk during tonight’s set at Wolstenholme Creative Space. How does that work?
Bleach at Liverpool Sound City 2012.jpg
Bleached at Liverpool Sound City 2012
Onto LA’s Bleached, who are far more of a treat. Counting two ex-members of the excellent Mika Miko among their number, their pacily skippy pop calls to mind the ramshackle ramalama of the Vivian Girls, Best Coast and Wavves. They’re nippier and brighter than any of those bands though, and at least as loveable.
Crash Of Rhinos live at Liverpool Sound City 2012.jpg
Crash Of Rhinos live at Liverpool Sound City 2012
Over at Screenadelica, Derby boys Crash Of Rhinos present a more complex beast – a post-hardcore maelstrom that twists and turns through intricate arrangements, drawing a line between Polvo‘s ferocious noise and the indier end of late 90s emo. It’s played with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer lashed through a window, and all the more exuberant for it. Great stuff.
We shuffle back into a packed WSC for stage headliners The History Of Apple Pie, who thus far have been lovely but undemanding on record. Live, however, they turn the amps all the way up to propel themselves into a delightfully fuzzy treat. Somewhere between Yo La Tengo‘s perkier moments, Veruca Salt and That Dog – yup, that good.
Vasco Da Gama live at Liverpool Sound City.jpg
Vasco Da Gama live at Liverpool Sound City
With tired eyes and aching feet, we jog over to Screenadelica for Vasco da Gama‘s triumphant set of addictive math-pop.
They’re probably fed up of reading the word ‘Faraquet‘ in reviews, although it’s hard to ignore the similarities.
Vasco Da Gama live at Liverpool Sound City 2012.jpg
Vasco Da Gama live at Liverpool Sound City 2012
But they’re better with every show, and tonight they channel their admirable proficiency into a riveting performance and some kick-ass songs. Hmm, doesn’t sound that impressive when we say it that way, does it?
Let’s try again: Vasco are fucking awesome. And tonight is positively triumphant. That do you?
Pictures Sakura Zilla and Conor McDonnell.

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