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Dice Club flyerKASMs
Vile Imbeciles
Teeth Of The Sea
Dice Club @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
Sunday March 8 2009

 

 

 

The Dice Club goes ever so slightly psychedelic in its first band slot tonight. Wait a minute, what am I saying? There's no 'ever so slightly' about Teeth Of The Sea.

They're all boiling chants and hypnotic grooves, the band hunched in the dark as back-projections flicker, coaxing sounds only tangentally related to the ancient and accepted Rite of Rock out of guitar and bass and drums and electronics. As ever with this sort of stuff, I like it up to a point, but ultimately I wish it wasn't so....well, unfocused.

Afer a few lengthy and groovy krautrock-on-mushrooms mantras have unfurled themselves in my general direction, I find myself wishing there was a lead vocalist tugging everything along from the front-centre position. You know, like a normal pop group. Give us something to grab on to, a fulcrum around which the musioc can whirl. Teeth Of The Sea might reckon that to be a very reactionary attitude, but hey. Sometimes you just can't beat a counterpoint of conventionality amid the weirdness.

   

I last saw Vile Imbeciles some while back at the Luminaire, supporting Queen Adreena. They made a ripped-up post-Birthday Party racket, which, while quite good if you like rough edges with everything (and, by and large, I do) didn't quite bring enough of its own juice to the party.

Vile Imbeciles certainly haven't smoothed themselves down between then and now. They still rip it up; the edges are still jagged. The vocalist, pinstripe of suit and wild of hair, gives it the full blues-punk holler, as if Tom Waits and Sid Vicious are fighting for control of his psyche. Meanwhile, the guitarist lurches around like he's got a bad case of the collywobbles, sending out guitar lines like ripped paper.

It's effective stuff, but if that looks like somewhat faint praise...well, yes, I suppose it is. I keep wanting Vile Imbeciles to really cut loose and take it all somewhere else, but they never quite do. They're a sum-of-their-influences band, and while I like to think they've got it in 'em to go to that somewhere else, they ain't there yet.

The never-ending KASMs tour of London hits Hoxton tonight. Not that this is an unusual development: KASMs are always hitting Hoxton. So far, Hoxton hasn't hit back. KASMs are all about precision and destruction. Their songs are tightly-coiled springs that suddenly shoot out bursts of energy; controlled, structured things that suddenly go KAPOW! - and it's in those KAPOW! moments that vocalist Rachel Mary Callaghan hurls herself bodily off the stage, regardless of whether anyone or anything is in place KASMsto break her fall.

Tonight she manages to surprise me with her mad dives into the audience, even though I've seen KASMs several times before and I know what's coming. One minute I'm framing a neat photo of Rachel on stage, next minute she's vanished from my camera screen and only a frantic scrabble in the crowd shows where she's gone.

In a way, it's good that this element of the KASMs show still has the capacity to surprise, because I've always contended that in the end it'll become too much of a commonplace thing. Well, we haven't got there yet. KASMs are still a casually lobbed hand grenade into the officers' mess, still a heady amalgam of nailed-down rythms and clang-and fizz guitar, and occasional bursts of head-first audience interaction. For KASMs, that's not a crowd down there. It's a target.

 

 

Essential links:

KASMs: Website | MySpace
Vile Imbeciles: MySpace
Teeth Of The Sea: MySpace

Dice Club: MySpace

For more photos from this gig, find KASMs by name here.

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