22nd October, 2015
Review by Caitlin Smith
Photos by Inty Malcolm
Once again, London’s most infamous metal venue, The Underworld, opens its doors to a host of talent across the genres. Embarking on their first EU tour, fans of the band were in for a treat that night, as this band surely can’t be hanging round in the underground for too much longer.
Kicking off the evening, Swiss two-piece Closet Disco Queen may not have sounded like the most obvious band to be supporting that evening, but being able to boast one member of The Ocean being part of the band immediately earns some serious credit.
For a band with that hereditary however, the music did not quite live up to the standard expected. While there was nothing wrong with the performance, the combination of rhythms produced by the pair were the only music on offer that evening and while enjoyable failed to really capture any interested as they repeated endlessly.
A quick change for the Closet Disco Queen guitarist before he reappeared to play with second act of the evening Olten.
Similar to the previous act, the music was purely instrumental, relying on the riffs and rhythms to propel the music. While the music did have more complexity and depth, there wasn’t much more on offer than the first band have already covered.
Tour partners Palm Reader were next to the stage.
The Woking based five-piece landed themselves support for all the UK shows. Bringing with them a distinctly hardcore sound akin to some of the more popular US bands, they weren’t the most obvious sound to open for the headline band.
Still, the Underworld seemed to pack out as the band launched into their set. Tracks from the latest album, Beside the Ones we Love appeared to get a better reception than the earlier work, but there was no loss of intensity throughout the set as the tore from one song to the next.
Formed of various members of other bands (including converge), Mutoid Man already promised to be a killer show despite the lack of audience that night.
With the Underworld only half full, it seemed madness that a band of this calibre could not have attracted a larger following despite its side project status. Quickly the band prove there’s much more on offer than simply the music here tonight with the band proving their comedy is almost as good as their music.
Nothing detracts from the power of the songs though as they open on ‘Bridgeburner.’ Ripping through tracks from across their board, fans of both Helium Head and latest release Bleeder were in for a treat as they pulled the best of both albums to make up the set that night.
Moving on, ‘Sweet Ivy’ and ‘1000 Mile stare’ proved to be crowd pleasers alongside older work like ‘Friday the 13/8.’ As they drew to a close, they brought out a cover of ‘Don’t let me be Misunderstood.’
Although Eric Burdon from the Animals allegedly hated the cover, it was a surprising if oddly enjoyable interlude before they drew to a close on the crushingly heavy ‘Gnarcissist.’
It was an odd mix of styles on display that night, and while the bands may not have always made sense as a pairing, it seemed to mesh perfectly with Mutoid Man’s insane musical ramblings through various genres and time signatures.
Those who made it out that evening witnessed what had to be one of the more enjoyable performances to grace the stage of the underworld. Those who missed out better pray they’ll be back soon.
1000 Mile Stare
Friday the 13/8
Scrape the Walls
Lost in the Hive
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (The Animals cover)
Boss (Kazuki Muraoka cover)