in his debut as a writer for Radio 13, Etienne McNeill dropped into Whammy Bar last night to sample their Fancy New Band 2020. Here are his three picks out of the six bands performing in the evening. Big thanks due to 95bFM for creating this showcase of up and coming bands.
Fable was a promising act that channelled the Emo-opioid trend pioneered by the likes of Yung Lean and Lil Peep. I was unable to hear the lyrics which detracted because rap is so vocal-oriented. Without this word delivery, it was harder to actually connect to the performance. Rap can deliver either a raw confessional quality or the opposite, a withdrawn stoned apathy and this fell somewhere in between.
However, Fable is promising because at least it revealed an expression of deep sadness and anger. And young audiences need artists to give over that kind of expression especially via a genre that is as volatile and libidinal as hip hop. Next time I hope they take it up a notch.
Deb5000 was a tight unit that played a merry list of songs, one of which pertaining to Keanu Reeves, go figure. This was a splendiferous helping of fuzz-modulated guitar over a punching rhythm section. The guitar sounds seemed to evoke ghosts of Wire’s Pink Flag era. This was a solid hardcore punk group with shades of The Pixies. Again the lyrics did not really cut through but Deb5000 had a punchy and fun set.
Ripship riding in the middle of the night with their math-funk chrome riffs over syncopated drum beats. Their obsession seems to revolve primarily around automation, and the inevitable extinction of humankind. With an impressive psychedelic sound, the guitar and drums waxed and waned to the other's tide, a partnership that complemented and gave space to the other.
The vocals reminded me of Stephen Mallinder in the early Cabaret Voltaire recordings - a withdrawn monotone running through with deep ‘alien’ effects.
Ripship are outsiders in a sense because they evoke fictional landscapes rather than drawing on personal experience. They exuded an alienating glamour through their sci-fi aesthetic.
The night finished with this acid sound in contrast to some of the earlier bands more confessional styles. I preferred this style rather than any effort to create 'authenticity' which is much overrated in my opinion.
Overall this night presented new bands which in itself has a huge value. My take-home sound would definitely be Ripship.