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Maid Of Ace - FlyerMaid Of Ace
Brains All Gone
16 Guns

Unicorn, London
Monday April 14 2014



It's punk dads on parade in here tonight.

At any rate, that's 16 Guns for you - four gentlemen of a certain age kicking it up inna punk rock style, playing it for equal parts laughs and righteous racket-making.

Their songs are fast and shouty - the band claims to be inspired by first-wave punk, but there's more Discharge than Damned in their batter 'n' holler workouts.

It's unpretentious knockabout stuff, and if 16 Guns aren't about to storm any barricades or kick over any statues - well, that's not quite what they're here for. Other people are taking care of that stuff these days. 16 Guns just want to get their noise on.

16 Guns

Over from Poland in a flurry of horrorshow graphics, Brain's All Gone present themselves to the world as a cheerily cartoonish horror-punk outfit: three tank girls and their green monster cat against the world.

In real life, however, they reveal a different - and slightly surprising - side to their art. They're actually a pretty decent hard rock outfit, influenced as much by classic rock as punk rock.

Brain's All GoneThe bassist's Rolling Stones T-shirt drops a hint that the band are not entirely immersed in the zombie swamplands, while the guitarist's nifty fretboard moves - at times, she almost shreds - clues us in that Brains All Gone aren't quite the female version of the Misfits that the advance publicity might have you believe.

It's a curious mismatch, then, between what Brain's All Gone do, and how they present themselves to the world. Their songs are punchy, crunchy, post-Distillers slabs-o-rock, driven along by assault and battery drums and a big, dense, wall of guitar.

But the band know the value of a catchy chorus, and they load up the songs with plenty of them - and some two-part vocal harmonies that add a lighter topping to the band's big rock pie. You could imagine Brain's All Gone killing it big style at the Download festival - tuck 'em in somewhere under Bad Religion and they'd be a good fit. The horrorpunk thing is a red herring. Best feed it to the green monster cat.

Talking of pan-generic influences, on their Facebook page
Maid of Ace describe themselves as 'CUNTPUNK/GRUNGE'. I do apologise for using that rude word there. I promise I won't say 'grunge' again.

But there's a good point being made in those two words: we've had nearly 40 years of raucous noisemaking since punk first broke, and a punk band of the twenty-first century is inevitably going to be influenced by those four decades of decibels.

Maid Of AceCertainly, Maid Of Ace's influence-bag contains as much of Hole as it does X-Ray Spex; they're equally influenced by The Slits and the Lunachicks.

In short, Maid Of Ace soak it all up and spit it all out - a concentrated infusion of grrl-rock that's all jagged edges, rampaging guitar noise, and a ruff 'n' tuff vocal roar.

It's heavy-duty stuff, but it's also surprisingly commercial - for the earsplitting punk rock value of 'commercial'. Certainly, if Download wanted another band to put alongside Brain's All Gone, Maid Of Ace would do the right kind of business.

Visually, they're a very marketable proposition, too: each of the five Maids rocks her own look. One day, maybe, they'll all have their own action figures. But for now, the real-life action is where it's at. Into the future on the punk rock rocket.

Maid Of Ace: Website | Facebook

Brains All Gone: Facebook

16 Guns: Facebook

For more photos from this gig, find Maid Of Ace and Brains All Gone by name here.

Page credits: Words, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.

Words and photos in Nemesis To Go by Michael Johnson are licenced under Creative Commons. You may copy and distribute this material, or derivations of it, provided that you give a credit to Michael Johnson and a link to Nemesis To Go. Where material from other sources is used, copyright remains with the original owners. All rights in the name 'Nemesis To Go' and the 'N' logo are retained.