She's not Buzz Lightyear...
I have no idea how to classify WITH DAWN. Not that I feel one should pigeon hole bands in order to conveniently categorise them for your enjoyment, but it certainly does help to know what one is getting oneself into. Having seen them perform once or twice before, and having checked out a couple of their online offerings, I was fairly excited to attend their album launch on Friday night at Mercury. The closest reference I could muster was a comparison to Deftones. Or something.
Not being a huge fan of whatever genre that is, I have largely ignored it - even flat out dismissing it for the most part. And, as so often has happened in my life, I have been forced to gag on humble pie once again. Not that I'm going to go out and bulk buy any and all [insert whatever sub strain of extreme heavy music this actually is - I still don't know], but suffice it to say that I have found a few appropriate adjectives that I hope will help adequately describe what I witnessed and experience on Friday night.
Massive, gargantuan guitars unleashing a crushing, destructive tone, laced with haunting delicate interludes.
Enormously impressive vocals - a range I haven't often encountered.
Intelligent, emotion-laden lyrics delivered with a terrifying conviction.
A rhythm section that could level mountains - drifting between time signatures with damaging effect.
You get the picture...
WITH DAWN creates soundscapes. They simultaneously wear their raw, ripped-up heartfelt music on their sleeves and allow themselves (and the listener) to become entirely enveloped in the turbulent inner dialogue. It's meant to be taken seriously. This is music which deeply contemplates loss, love and loathing, and does so without resorting to cheap mall-metal eyeliner emo.
And I got the cd. Obviously I was going to buy the cd. I haven't stopped listening to it since. It is everything I was hoping for. The production is immense, allowing the music all the space it needs to captivate the audience with its rollercoaster of bludgeoning barrages and beautiful, moving musings. Kevin displays a breathtaking variety of vocal capabilities, from anguished howls to delicate harmonies; earth shattering roars to piecing screams, it's as chilling as it is cathartic.
Did I mention OHGOD!...? Joining WITH DAWN on the night, they did what they do best: rip us a new one! I marvel equally at their effortless ability to create and deliver some of the most intriguing music being served up right now and the ease with which they mesmerise a crowd. Sometime I don't know who is more entertaining to watch - the band or the hundreds of eyes gawping up in awe. That is, of course, until they get that wonderful rumbling groove kicked in and the crowd goes fucking nuts!
It's always (and truly) a treat - watch out for this amazing band!
And that was my Friday night. On Saturday I found out exactly how hard re-enforced concrete is to drill through in the sun with a hangover. I also went to pick up one of the sexiest guitars ever made - another toy I get to play with when I once more bestride the stage on Friday courtesy of Paul Bothner Music. And then we buggered off to Kommetjie for a much needed evening of R'n'R followed by an epic beach walk the next day surrounded by the sand hippies of Noordhoek.
NGDG: Give a Zet a fish and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a Zet to fish and he'll buy a boat to dump the children in the bayou.
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