London WC2 Drill Hall
As they're only too aware, it's time to move on.
If that record took Appliance's linear approach to progressive experimental rock as far as reasonably possible, then tonight's sparsely attended affair bears witness to the group's back-to-basics regeneration campaign. And what that means is Appliance do electronica. Trouble is, they do it so tentatively that they give the impression they're simply airing half-finished ideas or works in progress. Sure, it's pleasant enough, but there's clearly a lot more to be done.
Still, there's always the rock option, although singer and guitarist James Brooks' noncommittal delivery and seemingly greying enthusiasm for his music turn even the polite Velvets chug of 'Throwing A Curveball' and 'Pacifica' into patience-trying chores. And not just for the band.
Neither experimental sound scientists nor cautious rock replicants, the middle-ground Appliance have staked out as their own remains a decreasingly thrilling place. As they're only too aware, it's time to move on.
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