Twin Zero had a delayed start due to sound problems, which infortunately persisted throughout their set, but didnt set them back too much being really only a vocal issue and lets face it you can’t ever expect too much from the vocals at a metal gig in a small venue, like The Engine Rooms is. Twin Zero’s second album The Tomb To Every Hope is out at the end of June and material from it was previewed here, alongside tracks such as “Part 003” of the epic Monolith album/piece. As that last sentence should give idea of, Twin Zero are a bit prog at points — at least a bit epic, lengthy and experimental — but they’re never straying too far from a ‘metal’ sound. The keyboards, when standing out, appear as sustained layers and more adding to the overall density. They are a large band with seven members (although I swear I only saw six) and have a big sound because of it, full of meaty riffs and the guitarists often offer some great technicality to them. The lack of vocal clarity may have left out a side of the music integral to its entirety but the music held it up ok, growling vocals can often get lost in the mix anyway, and with this type of music, vocals that are more ‘sung’ could often do with dumbing down any way.
Throughout Twin Zero’s set, almost half of The Engine Rooms’ standing area seemed taken up by the band and this was for two reasons, firstly, as mentioned before, there’s more than your average number playing in the band and, secondly, because Boris’ huge drum kit (in size of drum, not amount of drums), and mulitple stacks of amplification took up the entire small stage meaning that only the Twin Zero keyboardist could fit on it and the rest of the band played on the floor. Boris could only just fit on the stage themselves but did, and the floor slowly filled up in front of them. The support band’s line-up and sound is big and in comparison Boris’ line-up is small — but their sound was (as one of their own song title suggests) Huge — the venue felt near bursting to contain it, with those crowd members who’d situated right at the front only about a metre or two away from the speaker cabs bearing an almight brunt — and probably listening to the Japanese band’s drones for at least the whole of the night and next day because of it.
One hell of a noise — awe-inspiring.
Although being masters at the slower crawls and sprawls of all out drone, doom and spacey, psych jams Boris have always liked to rock out, like on Amplifier Worship’s “Hama” and “Kurumizu”. Their latest offering Pink seems to let rip with all the pent up punk-rock energy that the band can easily suppress but still have creeping up in the background of all their downtempo epics. The band stormed through the almost grungey punk rock noise of title track “Pink” with balls out and riffs on the table — bassist/guitarist/singer Takeshi applying distorted bass through the fatter of his twin neck guitars to the already fuzzed beyond belief guitar of Wata with showman drummer Atsuo holding his sticks up in his leather-clad hands and whooping at every moment that a real rock song needs it.
After “Pink” came “The Woman On The Screen”, “Electric” and more as the uptempo riff-heavy tracks continued. When they’re going at it at speed Boris forge elements of fuzzed out seventies classic rock, frenetic punk, Sabbath r’n’b rockers, and dirgey noise and they obviously worked out the riffs that make the equation equal rock in abundance for this latest record. Their already quite live sounding recording easily transferred and the band performed powerfully. Being typically Boris as well, they were never just going to stick to one thing and Pink’s “Blackout” offered a chance for some sludge. After it’s heavily bassy doom beginning the spidery, reverberating lead kicks in to send the track sprawling off into the abyss before it gets dragged back into the Earth for some muting and spoken-word before being fluing back out again.
Boris quite distinctly have much more to offer than you average band, or more specifically much more than the average doom band, there’s always been something pretty special about them and nowadays no less than ever. This gig showed off perfectly how great Boris are at psych, rock, punk and doom — and the set ended awesomely with an epic, lengthy uptempo rocker and an even more epic, even longer, downtuned drone track starting with slowly picked descensions, moving into bassy, ultra heaviness and then drifting into feedback and noise. One hell of a noise in fact — awe-inspiring.