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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Live Review – White Hills, Bristol

The Croft, Bristol, 19th March 2012

This was my first visit to The Croft and, unfamiliar with the layout of the place, I stumble into a side room and witness a young punk/metal band performing a rousing fist-pumping rendition of ‘Am I Evil’ by Diamondhead. As it turns out I was in the wrong place but the young chaps playing (The Hellcats?) raise my spirits before the night’s proceedings proper begin.

Now in the right room I’m just in time to see catch the first number of opening band, DIN Martin’s set. The young Germans are extremely competent though something about their experimental art rock fails to strike a chord with me. Occasionally they whip up a righteous effects-driven maelstrom but many of their songs just left me cold and I’m left wishing quite frankly that I was still watching the shambolic charm of The Hellcats.  

Thought Forms take the stage in an unassuming fashion but proceed to deliver an absolutely storming set of droning noise rock. Powered by muscular rhythms, their slacker soundscapes are both raw and monumental. Here’s a band that deserve a headline slot – I could have watched them for hours.

White Hills are absolutely at the top of the game currently with a superb new album Frying On This Rock and a live show so monstrous it could open up a new rift in the time-space continuum. Their riff-heavy multi-dimensional spacerock is shot through with the spice of dark glamour and nerve-shredding psychedelic joyrides from guitarist/vocalist Dave W’s fretboard. On the opposite side of the stage, bassist Ego Sensation is the epitome of astral allure and the band are never too far way from lift-off to the stratosphere on another megalithic jam. Catch them on this tour while you can, less these star children are planning to one day return to their own solar system.
Austin Matthews

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