London King's Cross Water Rats
Not only is his stage set-up the spartan norm for today's cutting-edge discord doyens, [B]Lyons[/B] actually looks minimal. He is very thin. He also has no hair, a fact emphasised by his habit o
Minimalist hardly does him justice. Not only is his stage set-up the spartan norm for today's cutting-edge discord doyens, Lyons actually looks minimal. He is very thin. He also has no hair, a fact emphasised by his habit of hunching so far over his console that for much of the time the audience is watching a motionless shaven pate. And nothing else.
Still, when your synthesis of gothic melodrama and splatterbreak psychosis is so compelling, the presence of sundry go-go dancers, say, or a brace of Keith Flint blow-up dolls would hardly be appropriate. In essence, Lyons does with electronics what Mogwai do with rock in their quiet-loud epics: he teases. Sooner or (more usually) later, each waft of gaseous minor-key melody is violated, pummelled into acquiescence by a blur of digital sucker punches. The fact of knowing it's going to happen can't diminish the thrill when it finally does. And for sure, it's a little simplistic, but such is Lyons' impassive intensity there's no denying the conviction at his desolate music's core.
As you might expect from a young man whose first record was called 'Suicide' and whose second is cheerily branded 'Warring Factions', this is a serious brand of fun. A solitary squint of the left eye at some mid-air demon is the only hint of communication Zan Lyons has to offer. No words, no explanations, just noise. It happens to be more than enough.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday