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Alright The Captain, You Slut, Kasper Rosa Speakeasy, Belfast

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ATL | 16:57 UK time, Friday, 11 May 2012

 

Alright The Captain, You Slut, Kasper Rosa
Speakeasy, Belfast
10th May 2012

It’s a longstanding cliché that the members of bands have certain types. Drummers are traditionally heavy drinkers and party animals, guitarists are self-indulgent, bassists are quiet, dependable types who never speak, and front-men are supposed to be arrogant divas. Tonight, however we don’t have to worry about stroppy singers as we’re presented with a triple bill of instrumentalism.

Well, nearly all music and no words, for Kasper Rosa have sneakily included a few vocals recently. They’ve not gone overboard with them however, but the contrast it brings to ‘First Breath, First Blood’ is a change and a hint that they may have decided what their direction should be – in a word, powerful, not rushed or frantic, but with a steady, constant energy throughout. They’ve always had musical ability, but now have a focus that was missing in their earlier days.

 

This maturity has coincided with their material becoming stronger and more epic, both in style and length, with their 4 song set encompassing, as a whole and each song individually, a range of emotions – pain, despair, hope and euphoria. We’ll forgive them for selling out and bringing in lyrics.

You Slut, in contrast, stick purely to music, to the extent that there are no vocal mics on stage at all, which makes communication with the audience a touch difficult. In an attempt to overcome this, they’re more aggressive and in-your-face than their predecessors on stage. They don’t have the epic-ness of Kasper Rosa, but make up for this with their math-rock touches and more populist riffs which provide more obvious excitement and moments for the crowd.

Rather than soaring sound-scapes, it’s a bit kitchen-sink with rock, math-rock, jazzy drums, punk, and metal all thrown into a relentless onslaught which leaves us a bit dazed, although the variety in the material means our interest is kept. If Kasper Rosa aim to soar through the stars, then these guys are very happy to scrabble in the mud for diamonds.

Alright The Captain adopt a bit of a middle ground – they do have a microphone, but use it only to chat to the crowd and for the occasional scream. ‘Soundtrack Your Death’ is very Adebisi Shank, in a good way, with mathy bass, frantic rhythms but with a melody to carry us along. The set has a few new songs in it; ‘Hurt Burger’ is dark and unsettling, lashed out like a wounded animal, with an industrial clang of splintering, breaking metal with its angry, indignant vibe. They’ve borrowed a drummer for this tour, which may explain their on-stage persona this evening, a physically tight three-piece, all close to the kit, but this just adds to the impression of tightness, an ‘us-against-the-world’ mentality and focus on each other.

William Johnston

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