Three songs into Team Brick’s set I sent Vivers a text saying that they sounded like Nazi Germany. He replied saying that he’d seen them before and they (well, he, it’s one bloke) were good when not being deliberately shit. This made sense eventually. The first part of the set was mainly noise, not music, just noise, with a man making weird vocal noises over the top. It was horrible. Halfway through the set though he started playing drums and it all began to make sense. It still made Fuck Buttons sound like Girls Aloud though.
The second band were called Yuck and this review is the conversation I had on note paper with members of Islet who were on the merch stand.
Me: I know some of these were in Cajun Dance Party but the bloke on the left sounds like the singer of Future Kings Of Spain. Any ideas?
Emma: I’m not cool enough to know who these people are.
Me: They’re Irish and had a really good first album that sounded like a cross between Pavement and Dinosaur Jr.
Alex: I have spoken to the gentleman in question and he doth not have an Irish accent…yet.
Me: Actually, these are great. I miss the mid nineties. Do the kids like this?
Scotty: I’m a massive fan of the Mojave 3.
Now I think this gives you a totally accurate and in depth analysis of Yuck’s set.
And now Islet. This is the fourth time I’ve seen them (I think) and there’s always been the wild ambition there and I’ve always thought they were brilliant but with so much going on it was easy for it to be slightly shambolic. The fact that they’ve now been on a couple of tours is evident. If there’s instrument swapping, it’s done without breaking stride, the flow isn’t broken and with a band like this, that’s important.
I watched Faust at All Tomorrows Parties recently and decided I hated them. I hung around because my friends wanted to see them and found myself getting drawn into to their groove once they’d got going. They just started every song bellending around with a sax and making a horrible noise. Islet dispense with the bellending and get straight to the groove part. This isn’t to say it’s not broken up with howling, shouting and hitting things. There are generally comparisons with Faust’s fellow Krautrockers Can and also with Os Mutantes. Both have merit. The drumming is a massively important part of their sound, this shows through more in the live set that it does on their mini album. Quite often there are two drummers or at least someone else twatting something with a stick. It probably shouldn’t work but whether the percussion is overlaid with loud choppy guitar or sixties sounding organ, it does. The four members all sing and all have very different voices that compliment the different feel of the songs. There’s a lot going on but all of it necessary.
For all the Krautrock similarities, Islet probably have more in common with 3 EPs era Beta Band. Invention, melody, being bonkers – check. Having mad flowery artwork – check. There’s no reason why they can’t cultivate that band’s cult following, it just remains to be seen whether their unhinged genius can cross over to a wider audience in a world that think The Cribs are the best band in the country. Here’s hoping they can.