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

The fallacious practice of upbraiding certain rock groups for not putting on a good show is placed in its proper perspective when confronted with the riot of understatement that is the [a]Zan Lyons[/a] live experience.

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.