London SE1 Purcell Rooms

All they prove is that rock isn't a science, that if it doesn't move people, it's not going anywhere...

If anything, post-rock unintentionally teaches us the value of true rock’n’roll. Most post-rock fails to grasp the essential, intangible magic of rock, the glitch in their equation being that music is so often more than the sum of its parts.

So, the Fridge live experience: three men stroll onstage, pick up their instruments and play. Intermittently, they will swap instruments. Not once will they address the audience and no stage lights will be cast on them, attention instead being directed towards the mundane images cast upon the massive screen suspended above them.

You could recreate the Fridge live experience in your own home, just slip their CD into a PC and watch the screensaver, although Lord knows why you would want to. As on record, the music is intellectually impressive, you’ll admire the little games they play with rhythm and loops. But you’ll never be excited by them, never love them. They never quite ignite.

Tracks like ‘Angle Poised’ and ‘Harmonics’ are characterised by an inhuman precision – tight not loose, perfection versus personality. Only the closing ‘EH4800’, a rush of guitar explosions and synapse-triggering dynamics, threatens to rock, and even that is almost scuppered by a tendency to think the life out of the music.

To disapprove isn’t simple anti-intellectualism: not all knuckle-grazing cave kids carry the raw spirit of rock’n’roll in their primitive scratchings. But as an experiment, Fridge are fatally flawed. All they prove is that rock isn’t a science, that if it doesn’t move people, it’s not going anywhere. The future lies elsewhere.

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