The keep it fast team went out for a few cheeky pints and this is what we discovered:
Trencher has possibly one of the tiniest keyboards I have ever seen. It is balanced upon a rickety old stool; whilst their rapier-thin vocalist stands hunched over it, barking incomprehensible blasts of noise down a microphone.
More wires than you can count trial out the back of its small plastic form and effects pedals litter the floor surrounding its podium. Those unfamiliar with the Trencher experience should know that it is definitely not the kind of music you’d see in the top 40. Harsh blasts of experimental hardcore punk mashed with atmospheric keyboard effects, horrendous screaming and brutal drumming.
It must be noted that Trencher are on form tonight; although the crowd seem somewhat subdued, until the three-piece rip into a song entitled “Jean Claude Van-Damne’ (I think) which sees the unhinged vocalist race around the stage, screeching until his throat is raw. Blinding stuff.
This is the second time I’ve witnessed These Arms Are Snakes in action, and I have to say they are everything you want in a live band.Vocalist Steve Snere is one of the most impressive frontmen I’ve seen.
He’s done it all; rubbed himself up against step ladders, crawled up the walls; jumped off of tables and even rolled in broken glass (according to my sources from the Newcastle leg of this tour.) In the dingy realms of the Camden Underworld, he doesn’t disappoint, nor does the rest of the band.Selecting songs from their debut album â€œOxeneersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â And recent opus â€œEasterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the Seattle four-piece eclipse their past performance on this stage tenfold.
Still incredibly difficult to pigeonhole (a good thing) TAAS play like it’s their last time together, clattering through their set with such precision, speed and intensity. “The Shit Sisters’ and “Big News’ are both notable highlights; as well as the squelching intro to “Angela’s Secret’ accompanied by Snere’s guttural screams and pummelling beats. New tracks such as the exquisite “Horse Girl’ (complete with handclaps) and the sombre “Deer Lodge’ are greeted warmly. As the set closes, the highlights are to come.
As the opening bars of “Crazy Woman Dirty Train’ ring out; Snere is practically shirtless, his body drenched in sweat, his movements ungainly and sporadic. Bassist Brian Cook stands on a box in the crowd playing his heart out; whilst guitarist Ryan Frederiksen teaches the world how to play the instrument properly. Snere squirms around on the floor like an upside-down turtle, still singing as the sonic bombardment continues.
As the closing notes fade away and the shrieking synthesizer effects subside; the band depart, only to return with a shockingly abrasive version of “Drinking from the Necks of the Ones You Love’. Finally the kids who were next to me screaming for this song are rewarded and hell opens up wide to consume us all at the Underworld.
In a bizarre and dangerous end to set; Snere climbs about a table and launches himself into the crowd; carried about like a king on a throne of bodies. He’s then unceremoniously dumped back on to the stage, his lower vertebra hitting one of the speakers. Ouch. He lies on the floor for several seconds before staggering to his feet and sloping off.
His pain evident, but his confidence unabashed. These Arms Are Snakes; one of the most enjoyable and no-bullshit bands about at the moment.
Venue: Camden Underworld, London
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