|The Hip Priests/Bulletridden/Bring To Ruin/This System Kills/Trigger McPoopshute - Ebbw Vale, EVI - 22nd October 2011|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Saturday, 29 October 2011 05:00|
Yes, the temptation to wax lyrical on the apathy of the proles towards attending gigs is present, as always, sadly. Yes, the irony of people posting 'Occupy A Venue' graphics on their social networking profiles yet not attending gigs appears to be lost on some. But let's not trouble our pretty little heads with the moronic behaviour of the reality television-obsessed clods whose only friends are thumbnails; let's celebrate great bands, great music and the great attitude that some of us revel in, and others can barely spell.
The Ebbw Vale Institute - EVI to friends - is quickly becoming a favoured venue in local circles, more so because of the 'can do' spirit of those gifted with responsibility surrounding the building than anything else. This five band bill, put on simply because some bands just love to play and some music fans just love to watch, is another notch on the bedpost of cool; how long it lasted and how impressive it was paling into insignificance compared to the fact that it actually happened at all. Kudos to all involved in making shit like this happen in communities where blinkered husks of opinion-less meat complain that there is nothing happening.
Trigger McPoopshute - deemed not politically correct enough to support an unnamed punk rock act that appears to not know what the term politically correct actually means - kick their way to your ear drums in their own neo-legendary fashion, opening the night's proceedings with their usual gay abandon. Playing as a three piece for one time only (as their vacant guitarist can apparently miss some of his bone marrow but not his wife's birthday outing) Trigger unleash a baton of boisterous bad-assery and sick songsmithery, opening with the timeless 'Balloon Knot' and motoring through a set littered with troubled tomes of trashy gutter punk. 'Plug's House' and 'American Manc' slug it out with 'Gloryhole Viper' and power ballad 'Knobrot' for set standout, though that title probably goes to the Welsh national anthem of the new republic, 'Sheep'. New tune 'Mr Muthafucker' showcases a more sensitive side to the band with its atmospheric skiffle 'n' roll and the choice Ramones and Gluecifer covers ('Commando' and 'Car Full Of Stash' respectively - the latter dedicated to the knock-off gear peddled by Uber Rock's legendary Zoot...although I mustn't mention it just in case, and I quote, "someone from CID is watching") flesh out a set that warms things up nicely, like pissing yourself on a cold day.
Local punk rock icon Wayne 'Pig' Cole has thrown his weight around to get the running order of the remainder of the bill changed, no doubt to ensure that his band, This System Kills, have more time to partake in some of the finest ales known to humanity. Otherwise, it's simply because he can't read the poster. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth as the monolithic frontman will spend the next half hour or so pummelling the senses with intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. That these lyrics are coupled with incendiary punk rock is, of course, part of the reason why we're in this room on this very night. The band unleashes a new song (to go with their new drummer), 'Accessorize', that is easily the heaviest thing that has ever sprouted legs and walked out of their heads and into your face. Poison Idea-heavy, with Pig's trademark mixture of hope and despair scattered all over it, this song looks set to remain a high point of the band's live set for some time to come - great stuff. This System Kills never turn in a bad performance and tonight was further proof of this impressive stat, with 'Under Banners', again, owning all who come into contact with it.
I remember seeing Bring To Ruin in the early stages of their formation at the tail end of last year. They were impressive then but have morphed into an almighty beast of a band in the intervening months, the biggest change coming in a man-sized lump of trouble made flesh, Ross, that fronts this heavy duty ensemble. He impressed when I first saw the band, formed from the ashes of Rejected, but now he has truly found his stage presence and, intimidating and frenetic as it is, this could well be the foundation on which a serious following is made for the band. So many bands tread the well worn path, rarely escaping local notoriety - this fella, with his Killer Klown From Outer Space backward fringe, could be a real focal and talking point, nudging this band up the ladder a few rungs. The songs help too; I have no fucking clue what any of them are called but they hit home with a jolt. Put these on your 'must see' list.
Bristol noisebringers Bulletridden have impressed many at URHQ with their 'Upbeat Noise For Downtrodden People' album and the brutal demo that preceded it. Bookending a mammoth fifteen song set (teetering on the brink of overlong at times) with 'The Light Is Retreating' and 'Whet The Scythe' from that thunderous demo that crawled out of some hole a couple of years ago, the band pummel ears into submission and pulverize the venue's walls with their crust-infused metal, so much so that the only thing keeping them up is the grime that this set of songs has smeared all over them. Tunes (yeah, right!) like 'Dead Meat For The Wilderness' and 'Harm Maximisation Service' threaten to kill....or at least maim. This is dark, brooding, moody shit as impressive as it is heavy; Bulletridden are yet another excellent outfit who need to be investigated by the keen eared rather than the faint hearted.
I think it would be fair to say that The Hip Priests are high on the list of favourite UK bands amongst the Uber Rock faithful, added to several lists, it has to be said, after their insane early hours set at this year's Slugfest 4 where grown men exposed themselves and bled for the cause to an awesome soundtrack of high energy garage punk 'n' roll. Tighter than Roman Polanski's date, the Priests are certainly one of the coolest bands this united kingdom has produced, with vocalist Nathan Von Cruz (who replaced former frontman Gary X-Ray) leading the line in startling fashion, making punters forget, I'm sure, that he ever had a predecessor in the band.
Opening with 'Wrist Action', the self-proclaimed biggest dicks in rock 'n' roll tear through a dirty dozen tunes that are as lubed-up and penetrating as hoped, the cool kids in attendance ready and willing to take these killer tunes, balls deep. 'Demon Hooker' is as gloriously trashy as expected, and if there is a song out there right now with a better title than 'Outta Ma Head, Into Your Pants' then it has passed me by, sailing on a sea of lies; the song rules too....like that was ever in doubt. 'Breakneck Babylon' is a gusset-wetting mess of itself, only topped by the song that follows it in the set, the righteous 'Sonic Reproducer'. 'Loud 'N' Lewd' could be on the posters describing these velvet-tongued cavaliers of cool rather than on the setlist; 'I Love To Fuck' also. By the time 'Rip 'Em Off' tells us that the end of the set is nigh everyone that matters is a heaving mass of sweat and semis, the merch table selling more vinyl in five minutes than any other shop in Gwent in the last two decades.
The upcoming album from The Hip Priests will astound - don't believe us? We couldn't give a fuck.