May the backlash be swift and bloody.
Buzzsaw indie rockers Beachbuggy are well used to lowly support slots, but footing this particular bill is way beneath them. With their thundering basslines and sneering vocals, they may owe heavy debts to The Fall and the Pixies, but
‘Bad Guys Wear Black’ and ‘Kickin’ Back’ bristle with
punky menace. Jack Straker
and co wear matching white overalls and applaud themselves after every song. On this evidence, it won’t be long before the rest of the world joins in.
If Beachbuggy wear their influences on their sleeves, Him’s queasy jazz-dub hybrid teaches us the perils of experimentation. Tonight, they work through new album, ‘Our Point Of Departure’, in its entirety, but sound like they’re playing the same track the whole time. And while their percussionists conjure a spooky, pulsating backdrop, Carlo Cennamo’s caterwauling sax solos don’t half get boring after a while.
Yet Him’s muso crimes are dwarfed by those of Trans Am. Initially this Washington trio flatters to deceive: with its vocodered vocals and staccato rhythms, ‘I Want It All’ is prime Devo-esque synth-pop, while ‘Play In The Summer’ boasts a scuzzy melody worthy of Sonic Youth. But then they decide to prove how clever they are, and we’re subjected to a barrage of noodlesome guitar solos and droning electronic instrumentals. It’s all heartbreakingly self-indulgent, and people start streaming out long before the ghastly Spinal Tap finale.
It seems the prog rock enemy still walks among us, even while righteous souls like Beachbuggy fester in obscurity. May the backlash be swift and bloody.