Things are getting messy. Whenever Anet Mook steps up to sing, lager-addled minipops-metallers leap onstage and knock her mic stand flying. Not that this dampens Mook‘s spirit any – even after said microphone smashes her in the gob several times.
It does, however, mean that we get to hear [a]Cay[/a]’s harder tunes – ‘Neurons Like Brandy’, the blistering ‘Better Than Myself’– in almost instrumental form, as verse after chorus is interrupted by oral assault or sabotaged mic stand. They’re as lacerating, as incendiary as ever, but somehow naked without Mook‘s hungry, breakneck howl. Guitarist Nik Olofsson‘s face, as a stage-invader goons about behind him, is a portrait of brooding blackness.
Which doesn’t mean [a]Cay[/a] don’t draw beauty from the melee. As pointless as their thrashes are ultimately rendered, a fractured ‘Nature Creates Freaks’ and a heart-stopping newie going by the name of ‘Radio’ reveal a purple, blossoming tenderness to [a]Cay[/a]’s angst. And Anet never looks happier than when inviting the triple-bass might of Rothko onstage for a droning, beatific ‘7even Schizos Sat On A Beach’.
But ultimately, the worry is that those Nirvana comparisons which have dogged the band may soon come full circle, that [a]Cay[/a] are gonna tire of stupid audiences who aren’t interested in listening. A double tragedy, for a band who demand, and deserve, close listening.