Last night’s gig at the Grapes was certainly interesting, and in some respects something of an eye-opener. Not a bad turnout, either, for a Monday night gig.
First on were Karmanaut, whose industrial/rock/goth hybrid sound was swamped somewhat by a muddy sound. This resulted in the different aspects of the band all seeming to compete in the mix one moment, and then be crystal clear the next. Allowing for the fact that this was only the band’s second live outing, there is time for this to be sorted – but it does need to be addressed.
A much better showing of their potential at present is the Promo CD, but they are certainly a band to look at over the next few months.
Neuvogue sounded better than their last outing at the Boardwalk, as far as I was concerned. For me at least, the sound is still 20 years too late, but I have to admit that they are good at what they do – it just isn’t to my taste.
3ulogy, on the other hand, were an absolute revelation. I should come clean here and say that I have never managed to see them live before – all I knew beforehand was the demo. Gone are the tinny beats of that demo, everything now is steroid-primed beats, hissing electronics and clever use of a guitar to fill out the sound. Nik makes a great frontman, prowling the stage, delivering the lyrics with real venom. Marc seems to prefer to stand to the side and play his guitar half-hiding in the shadows, while Jon delivers the (majority of the) blast of electronics from the other side of the stage, leaving Nik the rest of the stage to play in.
Their choice of cover (Pretty Toy by Velvet Acid Christ) was a brave one, and perhaps the only thing that didn’t quite sound right. Mainly for the fact that of course the barrage of samples used by VAC weren’t there, resulting in the shuffling beats sounding somewhat sparse and a little dull. Especially when said track was preceded by a totally revamped Corrupti0n (which is a vast improvement on what was already the strongest track on the demo), and followed by set closer Silence, which was just simply brilliant.
The VAC cover probably gives a good pointer to where 3ulogy are coming from – they fall within the grounds of bands like VAC, Suicide Commando, :wumpscut: and Hocico, but are calmly forging a clear identity of their own.