The Alice Kona Band at Animal Disco
Auntie Annies, Belfast
Friday 28th October
So it's Friday night, the start of the Halloween weekend and all sorts of Ghouls and Demons are in for a treat. Even before the band comes on the energy in Animal Disco is high, the dance floor is packed and a giant penguin is leading a conga around the room to Lisztomania by Phoenix. The DJ has the crowd in the palm of his hand… that is until The Alice Kona Band appears.
The band walk on with purpose, ready to give the audience nothing but ear damage, you can tell they mean business tonight; it is their EP launch after all. The Alice Kona Band plunge head first into 'Jay Adams' off their new EP called 'Shark. Salem. Satan.'
They keep the pace going with some simple, no nonsense punk, the sort of stuff that creates a mosh pit within seconds. 'Herman Brood' is up next, presenting us with chaotic riffs reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys, followed up swiftly by 'Watching Rome Burn', a song that really builds tension with its hard and heavy bass intro, suiting the already established spooky Halloween vibe.
The night is a pretty successful event for the band so far and it gets even better with the appearance of 'Acheron', the well timed call and response vocals make this a really enjoyable experience, it's short, sweet and to the point. The vocal work from the whole band is a real highlight of the set and they demonstrate these skills in 'Police', you find yourself shouting along with them and as the crowd starts to get a little bit more rowdy they get even more passionate, knocking out a quite amazing solo out of nowhere to cap off a frenzied first half of the gig.
The band take this opportunity to take things down a notch with another track off their latest effort called 'Mandy Warhol', a song that captivates the crowd a little bit less and seems like an excuse for the band to catch their breath. Suddenly one member of the band states, “we ******* hate all of you *****” and the atmosphere changes a little, it could have been meant as a joke or even just to keep up the illusion of a take no prisoners punk band but it wasn't well received by the majority.
From here on in the band seem to want to get things over and done with as another band member says, “you've three songs before you can say what you want”, only increasing the tension in the room.
The band steamrolls their way to the end of the set with 'Scavengers', a fitting end to their chaotic EP launch, they emit a gargantuan noise so intense in its volume that you'll be hearing nothing but the aftermath of this gig for days to come. Once all is said and done they proceed to chuck their guitars around the stage, bash into the lighting and rugby tackle their way through the drum kit. Fuelled by anger and adrenaline The Alice Kona Band scream and yell their way to the finish line and they don't care who gets in their way.
James J Magill