First up were Skinflick. I’ve gone on record in the past with opinions on them (in short: too much of a wannabe Killing Joke, too much volume and little of actual interest), so I was a little surprised to find them sounding different to what I recall. Although, it seems they have a new line-up, there is now a new focus, and much of it now sounds like Godflesh instead. Add to that an almost total waste of the second (female) singer – I don’t think I heard a single word she sang – and I am still distinctly unimpressed, I’m afraid.
Deadpad were a totally different proposition, built almost totally on brute force. Little bits of electronics sweep in and out of the songs as they stampede through, but in the main they are plainly and simply fucking heavy thrash metal. Which is no bad thing, especially as the band really do look the part, too! (Clue: you ain’t gonna spill their pints on first glance). Top track was without a doubt closer Rat Race 2000. Like many smaller bands, they don’t particularly strong on record just yet, but live they are awesome. See them if you get the chance.
And so onto Interlock. Regular readers of this will know I have been waiting patiently for some time to see this band live, and indeed was good to put faces to names and have a chat with both John and Chris from the band.
They didn’t disappoint, either. Short intro, and straight for the throat with the shortsharpshock of Creed, and this set the stall nicely for things to come, with the electronics clear in the mix, even if pushed back a little from the recorded versions. Oddly this worked better, as the band live are a furious, rampaging beast, clearly showing their extreme origins. The vocal interplay works superbly, with Christina and Hal’s interplay never missing a beat, and Hal looking like he was ready to burst blood vessels within minutes of getting going. Intense was not the word.
Straight sounded as fresh as ever, while In Stasis sounded menacing, with both singers prowling the stage area for new victims. Eradication calmed things down a little – and for perhaps my least favourite track on the album it still sounded very good. Skinless was every bit as feral as I could have hoped, and hopefully will work well as a single for the band in the new year – it certainly deserves to. The almost Pitchshifter-esque Cause came across well, and was one of a number of songs that showed just how tight a band they are – even with six members everything is played with almost mechanical precision, helping to ensure that nothing is lost.
One of the most impressive performances followed that, with Never//Lost allowing Hal to actually sing – which he really can in some style. Nice to hear the most industrial-based track of all in Rest, as well, a track that really should not have been missed from the album, in my opinion. Final track Further From Reason (that appeared on previous split EP Death By Design – dating from 2002 – and can be downloaded from the band’s site, too) was a nice surprise to hear, and rammed home that Interlock have been the finished article pretty much for some time, as it doesn’t sound dated whatsoever.
Even better news is that more dates are apparently planned for the new year. If they come local to you on that tour, go see.
Last thing – one thing that really, really pisses me off with band sites, by the way. If I want to listen to a band’s music, I’ll select the appropriate section and download/stream whatever samples are there. I don’t want a player that auto-loads and auto-plays (Skinflick amongst others take note).