Mind Mountain, Strange Collective, Bad Meds, Ohmns: Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Liverpool

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Mind Mountain

Mind Mountain

Armed with a bottle of real ale, Getintothis’ Mark Greenwood witnesses a night of raucous, fuzz filled punk rock mayhem. 

Although it’s only 8pm on a Thursday night, Getintothis arrive at a very busy Maguires for a night of raucous guitar riot. Clutching a bottle of Badger Champion we install ourselves adjacent to a crumbling wall that smells a bit suspect. Nonetheless, over the last year the aspirations of Maguire’s as a venue appear to have emerged effectively, with friendly staff and a tidy black box room that looks the business. Previously, there have been issues with sound at the venue but the management appear to have settled this with an especially loud and balanced PA system that needs no invitation to batter your viscera and ears.

Ohmns are the first to assault sonic sensibilities with a wall of guitar noise, quick drums and fierce vocals. The band concocts a streak of smacky amphetamine fizz bombs that explode into pure repetition, filling the space with rogue hair and toxic sweat. When these lads put their foot down the result is blissful, raw and chemically unstable. Between each number the band fall into tuning chaos – a distracting activity that bugs the fuck out of a patient crowd. Despite this, the band roars to a frantic finish and are a good bet to exceed the ‘bands to watch out for’ files.

There’s no antagonism of tuning ethics from Bad Meds. Their set is tight, controlled, focused and heavy. Paul Rafferty’s performance is flawless, balancing angsty punk utterances with an innovative guitar hermetic. Conceptually, the band inhabits the simulacra of a hoax apocalypse, where a disembodied voice barks orders to dazed survivors. The sound is clinical and precise allowing Bad Meds to crackle at a boiling point where nothing is superfluous. As a fully functioning apparatus that efficiently captivates a packed Maguires, Bad Meds are nothing short of bloody brilliant.

There are plenty of pizzas flying about as the fridges are somehow topped up with fine booze. Maguires descends into a kind of cartoon carnival as hungry punters engage in rituals of consumption. Strange Collective are quick to gobble up a fortified audience with an equally entrenched set of acid rock with extra spice. The psychometer goes into overload with these lads as they effortlessly ride a heavy trip roller-coaster, exploring high and low dynamics with a range of pulsating drones, frequently repeating and overloading eccentric energy trepanned from the cognitive aura of a Clinic casualty. Expect big things.

Mind Mountain are the final act of the night and don’t disappoint with a relentless set of eagerly awaited new material. The band appears to be shifting towards a noisier aesthetic, much more minimal and symphonic than older material suggests. Despite a few loose ends the band negotiates a labyrinth of tempos and heavy grooves. Joe Hirons is as majestic as usual, weaving and casting spells with spectacular guitar and four dimensional synths, reassuming his status as a strange and virtuosic psych-wizard.

For three quid the quality of the music on show tonight certainly doesn’t resemble a bargain basement production. In fact we’d defy anyone to find better value for money anywhere on a Thursday night in Liverpool. Whoever put this bill together deserves a medal and it’s great to see an independent venue going from strength to strength. A glorious evening re-asserting Liverpool’s psych-punk credentials.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Brain Sayle.

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