London Camden Falcon

It's a veritable roar, a sprawling sonic wave tearing through the room. It's the black metallic heart of Brum quartet [B]Twist[/B]'s sound, and it's a fearsome thing indeed...

It’s a veritable roar, a sprawling sonic wave tearing through the room. It’s the black metallic heart of Brum quartet Twist‘s sound, and it’s a fearsome thing indeed. Yes, Twist sound like Hole if they were still the nasty, sludgebound grinders of yore. Songs like splintering closer ‘Dent’ are so unforgivingly heavy, so intransigently focussed, they stamp their own identity over the familiar thrash. If the new wave of Black Sabbath fans cocked an ear in the direction of Twist, they’d get a true taste of bleak Black Country brawn. The raw, brutal honesty of it would [I]obliterate [/I]them.

My Vitriol, meanwhile, ensure their painfully-short set (a mere six songs) spans the emotional spectrum. Guitarist Seth Taylor‘s warping snarls of fx-laden bliss ensure My Vitriol‘s essential concept MBV duelling Nirvana in heaven is perfectly realised, and that frontman Som‘s impossibly perfect-pop sounds [I]nothing [/I]like the predictable punk-grunge the band tower above.

Tonight, ‘Grounded’ feels achingly fragile, pretty, even while ‘Cemented Shoes’ slays us with its slew of bull’s-eye hooks, miasmic guitar echoing through beatifically[I] (This didn’t take place in a sonic cathedral by chance? Ed)[/I]. If they can maintain this velocity, true greatness lies easily within their grasp.

Such greatness has already been claimed for Dublin’s JJ72. And this sense of self-importance almost threatens to sink them. Frontman Mark Greaney isn’t exactly swaggering about the stage in a Liam-esque fashion (in fact, staring warily out at the audience with a beguiling mix of shyness and determination), but first single ‘October Swimmer’, is a by-the-numbers drab indie ballad, all windswept pseudo-epic chords and self-important wailing.

But even clunkers like these are redeemed by Greaney‘s remarkable vocals. In an era swamped with soundalike Thom Yorke clones, Greaney possesses a truly distinctive voice, melding Billy Corgan‘s howl with Jeff Buckley‘s grace. And far outweighing the dross are sublime songs like new single ‘Snow’, impassioned slabs of the Big Music, dripping with drama and poignancy.

‘Improv’ and ‘Broken Down’ meanwhile, played just by Greaney and his guitar, are truly breath-taking excursions, keening, almost-formless, recalling the fragmented second half of Buckley‘s ‘Sketches (For My Sweetheart The Drunk’, hinting at a brave and beautiful direction Greaney would be well advised to explore. If JJ72 can navigate a safe path between self-indulgence and self-importance, they’ll be something very special indeed.