There I was. Friday night, and the only one in the club who wasn't dressed for Halloween. I lie, some of the old fart brigade (all very good friends of mine) were also out in their Joe Average outfits. One thing everyone had in common though, was a collective interest in what was going on on the stage.
First up, Junkyard Lipstick playing (what we can only pray) was a once off gig with Cruella deVillain filling in as vocalist. He makes a charming he-she, balloon boobs and all!
But the evening really belonged to Bulletscript, who were celebrating the release of their EP, 'Knotted'.
Ian Watson has something to say. He's pissed off and you WILL hear it. The vicious passion he managed to conjure up makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, perfectly fitting for Old Hallows Eve. Writhing, spitting, and throwing himself around the stage in various stages of anguished hostility, he is very quickly cementing himself as my favourite frontman to watch live. Part Rollins, part Anselmo and completely committed to the cause, his rabid delivery is the perfect foil to the rugged riffing that backs him up. An absolute powerhouse rhythm section underpins the gargantuan grooves ripping out of the amps as Jacques Hugo and Marcus van der Tuin combine to chug and shred their way through masterfully crafted chaos. Joining them for 'We Owe You' was the legendary Adam van der Riet, who was once again coaxed from vocal retirement to effortlessly show the next generation exactly why us ou ballies consider ourselves the golden generation. Cue Golden Girls comments...
Strident were next up and I had other commitments, so missed most of the spectacle of raised fists and rode off into the sunset to lance my own dragon.
But I had in my grubby little paws a Bulletscript cd. There is almost nothing more exciting than the anticipation of waking up on a Sunday morning, unwrapping a sealed disc, and sitting back to enjoy it through superior stereo equipment. Listening to great music through earbuds conveying the clipped, compressed version is altogether less fulfilling.
So, from live review to a quick look at the 'Knotted' EP. The production is beautiful - combining a crisp, clean finish with the crushing tone of seriously cranked guitars. Add to the perfect mix and the precision playing Ian's previously discussed venomous vocals and you have a product that warrants many, many play-throughs. 'Knotted' pays more respect than a perfunctory passing tip of the hat to bands such as Pantera, Entombed, Meshuggah and a whole host of other extreme acts, even Pothole, but never sounds like any of these. Instead, here is a local band that has managed to melt together all its influences and forge an identity of its own - and a "fuck you awesome" one at that. Well done, guys - I fucking love it!
How many dead children in halloween costumes does it take to change a lightbulb? Not 5. There are five down there already but the basement's still dark.
Spread The Love. Maniacally.