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KrakatoaEarth Loop Recall
Snuff Radio

Madame JoJo's, London
Thursday April 19 2007



Is it time for the Oasis revival? Krakatoa certainly seem to think so. Decked out in Fred Perrys and feather cuts, toting Telecasters and turned-up jeans, these lads seem to have assimilated the Oasis-ish street-smart swagger wholesale. They've also got the Oasis-ish recycled sound of '73 down to a fine, if somewhat beer-fuelled and ramshackle, art. Great stuff if you like it, I suppose, but it's hard to escape the thought that this is little more than a rehash of something that has been pretty comprehensively rehashed already by a certain bunch of lads from Manchester.

Snuff RadioThe word on the street (or at least in the bar) is that Snuff Radio are somewhat like Sheep On Drugs...before they went crap. Well, they're certainly sporting the classic two piece electropunk line-up. One bloke squints at a computer screen and does things with electronics, while another bloke looms and lurches in a vaguely loony-on-the-bus manner while barking out vocals in what I can only describe as a Rowan Atkinson comedy nerd voice. He seems to speak quite normally between the songs, but then, when the beatz crank up, he mutates into a bizarre interpretation of Mr Bean at a Karaoke party. It's such an odd vocal style I can only assume it's deliberate, which does rather beg the question - why? In other respects Snuff Radio rinse out that post-industrial, not-quite-EBM electro sound perfectly competently, but the vocalist's honking and quacking makes me wonder if the band are possibly supposed to be some sort of parody thing. They have plenty of fans, keen to dance and cheer, which does suggest that there's something I'm not quite getting here. Perhaps it's the joke.

Earth Loop Recall were one of those coulda-bin-contenders bands which never stuck around long enough to turn their potential into real success. Go back a couple of years and it all seemed like it was going to happen for them: a string of intense, roiling, live shows and an album that came at the listener like special forces. And then, a split, and silence. But now the band has returned with a revised line-up, and they're ready to have another go. I'm happy to report that the Earth Loop Recall have lost none of their steaming intensity, none of their almost psychedelic force. That's not psychedelic as in 'Look at all the pretty colours', by the way. It's psychedelic as in 'I think my head's fucked up'. Earth Loop Recall generate an almost uncanny density of sound - it's like being given a glimpse inside a black hole, only to find a bunch of weird elemental creatures having a party.

Old Earth Loop Recallsongs hold their own with new songs tonight - the band are giving a few old tunes a final run-out before a comprehensively reworked live set takes over at future gigs. 'Optimism Creeping In' is the one that kicks the mosh off. All of a sudden, the floor is full of tumbling and barging bodies, and whle most of the enthusiastic moshers are old friends of the band who recall Earth Loop Recall's original incarnation, it's interesting to note a couple of random indie girls, who knew nothing of the band before they started playing (they asked me who they were!), getting caught up in the rush and push of the affray. Fired up and impressed, they're instant converts to the ELR cause.

And that, as it happens, illustrates a significant point. First time round, Earth Loop Recall spent a lot of time playing goth scene gigs - don't ask me why, since the band were not, and are not, goths. Notwithstanding a certain amount of appreciation from the more adventurous gothy types, their real audience was always elsewhere. This time round, I hope they don't make the same mistake, although as I see the band's very next gig is a support slot at an EBM gig I fear they're about to do just that.

Those random indie girls, instant fans within a handful of songs, represent the future. Support slots at EBM gigs represent the same old go-around and the same old dead end. I just hope Earth Loop Recall can see the way forward, because that's the way they deserve to go.


Essential links:

Earth Loop Recall: Website | MySpace
Snuff Radio: Website | MySpace
Krakatoa: MySpace

For more photos from this gig, find Earth Loop Recall by name here.

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  Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson.
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