This was the first Mojo Fins performance for a while, the band having taken a little time off coming up with some new material and importantly, a record deal. Picked up by Brighton’s Amazon Records the band have a single out in April and album plans for later in the year, and having also played a live radio session on Brighton’s Juice FM it seems it’s actually been all go despite the live lull.
offering backing vocals which create an exiting polyphony, that will suddenly harmonise and move together
Moving swiftly on from an initial technical setback the group offered a set with punch after punch of engaging melodies and vocal hooks, harmonies and twisting chord progressions. As with most great bands and artists, the group’s music doesn’t lend easily to neat comparisons and categorisations, though not because it’s completely separate from anything heard before but just that it’s refreshingly, well refreshing. The band have a skilful ability for songwriting which seems built on a passion for music, picking up on elements of different artists or styles and distilling these into a traditional focus on melodies and harmonies, altogether creating easily digestible songs which are hard not to enjoy. The band switch between glowing, warm, and cooler, clean sounds; upbeat, uplifting hooks and questioning moods and chord changes. There is also a strength offered by the fact that the four piece has two lead vocalists/guitarists, alternating and swapping melodies, playing off each others lines whilst the bass and drums tightly keep the structure and flow. Different songs have different lead vocals and during one’s song the other’s guitar will weave top-end melodies around it, also offering backing vocals which create an exiting polyphony, that will suddenly harmonise and move together for a line or a chorus, lifting the song up higher for a capturing moment.
The band played songs off last year’s self-released EP From The Eight Floor as well as new material and recent live favourites such as an instrmental which melds classical arpeggios, Time Out_-era Dave Brubeck and the rousing piano-led post-rock of Mogwai’s _Mr Beast, offering further example of the band’s versatility, ability and perhaps even a further avenue to develop. Hopefully with new releases to promote, this year will not just be a successful one for The Mojo Fins, but one full of impressive live shows like this.
the singer had an impassioned itchy energy
Next up were The Race, from Reading and on Shifty Disco, the label which was celebrating its 10th birthday this very night. The band weren’t bad at all, the singer had an impassioned itchy energy and looked like the nice indie guy that you always meet and chat to for ages at a party. Vocals were backed by the female guitarist who beat out steady rhythms on her instrument that, alongside the bass and drums, held the songs together, accompanied by tinklings of glock and keyboard from the frontman and noisier picks from another guitarist. The overall sound was perhaps like the Arcade Fire, particularly in the emotional vocals (also reminiscent of Robert Smith), but the music was held together in nice tight modern indie song stuctures and movements — another welcome reaction to too straight, too dull, feeling-less music, though without perhaps the ability to be separated too much from similar chart-based indie bands.
Headlining were another Shifty Disco group, My Device, a band who’ve been around in Brighton for years though never seemed to ignite many flames. Recently though they have grabbed themselves some kind of NME award so well done, however, uninspired from shows in years passed and from the research I attempted on their website, I chose to give them a miss. Congratulations to Shifty Disco on ten years afloat, and thanks to the promoter for having had the sense to add The Mojo Fins to the bill.