YAK are back and are sounding as mighty as ever, elevating their sound to something bigger and darker. Live, their new sound shines through creating chaos at the Green Door Store.
So Saturday is on and tonight’s show is set out as a ‘battle of the bands’ joint headliners set. There’s two of the biggest ‘about to breakthrough’ Brighton bands on the bill tonight. On the one hand you have Penelope Isles, who have been building their sound and following for years now. Notable fans would include Matt King, who everyone spots in the audience, then pretends as if they didn’t. Porridge Radio are certainly on the quirkier spectrum. They’ve been a name headlining the majority of local venues for a few years now.
DUDS are a band that captured an intense level of excitement among my friends. After what I hear was an incredible set at End of the Road Festival this year, they made it clear missing their Brighton show would be a fool’s move. A band that can capture that level of excitement and adoration from a 30 minute set from a line-up as strong as this year’s End of the Road are definitely going to be worth seeing. The Manchester band are the first UK group to sign to John Dwyer’s Castle Face Records and released Of a Nature Or Degree a week earlier.
Otherkin’s debut album Ok is very much a “does what it says on the tin” album. It’s a classic garage punk album that for once does sound like a group of kids playing in a basement. It’s a snapshot of first album excitement and this definitely rubs off on the listener and will remind you of times spent in rehearsal studios as a teenager.
Take a look on Cristobal And The Sea’s Bandcamp page and you’ll find the mission statement for Exitoca. The band themselves say that Exitoca is an album about escapism. Inviting you to shed your clothes, your inhibitions, embrace life and roll around in field. Cristobal And The Sea have breathed a warm glow into a gloomy time. They propose the album as an escape from working life and a dire political climate. Exitoca is an album which loves life and seeks to spread this feeling.
The latest solo record from Lee Ranaldo is a more traditional album than you’d expect. Electric Trim thoroughly explores all of the ideas it puts forward and Ranaldo doesn’t take any half measures, plunging deep into the songs he creates. Throughout Electric Trim there are really strong contrasts within the songs; having a dark and dirty backing to flip to something very melodic and clean. It’s a trick used several times throughout the album and works every time.
“Thank you for coming out tonight on a, erm, uh, Wednesday” chips in drummer, Gretchen. Chastity Belt arrive slightly flagged and dog-eared tonight. Gretchen has a broken shoulder, and Annie Truscott on bass has a broken foot. You’d expect this to completely derail a band’s set and open this up for a review full of well-intentioned jabs. This really wasn’t the case and just goes to show what troopers Chastity Belt are. These problems are only apparent as the band announces them – otherwise they’re completely unnoticeable and what’s more their set was fantastic.
Waxahatchee’s set at Komedia was an electric set of fan favourites and outings of new songs from Out in the Storm. A very professional set indeed – with massive sounds and serious players, Katie Crutchfield is sounding at her most polished.
Allison Crutchfield (Katie’s sister) served as the support, sharing a band with her sister Katie. When the band re-emerge, there’s been an odd wardrobe change between sets and the backing band now come on in formal black suits, everyone on stage is in black. They opened with the slightly slower ‘Recite Remorse’ which, for me, is a subdued way to start the evening. However my own reservations aside, the rest of the crowd are genuinely captivated and have a look of awe in their eyes.
Superfood’s second outing Bambino is a calm departure from their debut back in 2014. Bambino offers new sounds from the band but with the same recognisable writing style of 2014’s Don’t Say That. The band have shed the angst and have arrived at a more blissful place. Arguably the strongest band to come out of the fatuous “B-Town” boom from a few years back, Superfood are now reinvigorated and we’re very happy to have them back.
From the moment Deap Vally take to the stage at Brighton’s The Haunt, the duo seize the room and bring forth their mighty sound. Their fans do genuinely cherish the group, some have come dressed up especially for the show, many are sneaking their way as close to the front as possible. I’ve not seen fans hold a band this dearly for a while, but it’s very clear that Deap Vally really mean something to their listeners. Beyond the songs, the fans believe they stand for something and strike out against the norm. Their audible fury is something that they can relate to and their music says it’s not only OK to be pissed off, you should be.