Trencher / The Phil Collins 3 / I'm Being Good / End The Agony

  • Brighton
  • United Kingdom
  • Engine Rooms
  • 2006-08-07

To celebrate the release of the Trencher/Phil Collins 3 split 7” the sweaty pit that is the Engine Rooms was duly filled with people and bands for a couple of hours of extreme heat and extreme noise. Brighton’s seen a load of great line-ups, and I always go on about them in reviews so i’ll try and supress that statment again here. But…

Opening was End The Agony, a two piece guitar/screams drums/shouts band made up of Dan and Jamie, formerly of the much lauded Cat On Form. Since the end of that former band, Jamie has been residing in the angles of The Projections project, with other Cat On Form man Steve, whilst Dan has been seen doing a couple of things, including a further foray into polemical punk with Corporate Marketing Ploy (also another day out for former band mate Steve) and also a one man New York singer/songwriter pastiche which as much a comedy skag poetry act, debuted a long while ago but apparently recently resurrected. The two of them have been playing as End The Agony for a while now though and it is a welcome trip into loud loud territory for them both. Most songs started with the click of a foor stamping on a footswitch triggering a screaching scream of feedback which wailed on until four clicks from the sticks signalled the entrance of huge guitar noise and powerful, punching drums. The songs were fairly simple in construction, and even in riff, but the size of the noise and the feeling behind them made up for that, in fact it’s why the songs were as good as they were. The big chords, picked riffs and huge noise was incredibly strong. The pace was oftentowards the slower end, giving an almost doomy edge to the hardore and messy noise. The drummer, more often seen behind a bass, made the transition well — sometimes complex, sometimes straightforward beats, and even when at one point the battery demanded a lot and the beat was slightly full and leading over the edge of the bar, you could see the emotion being put in to it, and the power of each strike gave across everything the songs seem to be wanting to convey.

Speed and rhythm changes abounded and the stop/start/stop/start was out in force.

Following were old hands Im Being Good. Still a four-piece and still getting even better. There’s only a few bands who would probably sound much worse in correct tuning both individually and as a collective, there’s Sonic Youth and then there’s two of tonight’s bands, The Phil Collins 3 and I’m Being Good (there’s probably loads but right now the sentence remains punchier). The band’s set started more paced, the songs driving and twisting around in their infinite mysterious mess through glorious muffly distorted harmonies and even more glorious discordant unharmonies. The band teach lessons to crowds on how to not be able to nod your head in time, and tonight’s lesson went according to schedule. Speed and rhythm changes abounded and the stop/start/stop/start for a different little bit each time was out in force. At about the half way stage the band slowed down into more pleasant pastures although they also had some distinctly murky areas. Overall it was captivating, intelligent, awesome.

The first of the bands celebrating the 7” release was the Phil Collins 3, who, never shy of dressing up, always proud of their costumes, were dressed this time as Star Wars characters — with Han Solo and Chewbacca on basses, R2D2 and a stormtrooper on guitars and C3PO tub-thumping. The band’s wierd-ass punk proves that humour can belong in music — classic rock pastiches including the band’s detuned take on Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” giving it absolutely none of the heartfelt meaning of the original but much more… well, much more. The band’s short sharp songs are only a minute or so each with those pummelled tubs driving them forward through the foggy structures as punk noise cuts out to instruments harmonising out of tune, or twiddling and rasping out little bits before bursting back into a riff — all the while the multiple vocals howling, shouting, wheeing etc insanely etc. Tracks from their self-released CDR were played as well as new stuff from the 7” — proving it a worthwhile (though its bloody cheap anyway so it could be worse and still worth it) purchase.

brutal grind, acrobatic keyboard riffs and droning ultra-noise

Trencher took the headline slot — and wowed, coming on like a hybrid of Discordance Axis, Zombi and Burning Witch — brutal grind, acrobatic keyboard riffs and droning ultra-noise. The former more Locust style sci-fi casio-core remains but modified. The aformentioned Witch and the sludgy, sludgy sounds of follow doom brethren are finding their way into the band’s ouevre as the songs take on longer forms and structures. About a year or so ago, droning feedback drenched the ends of some of the songs as the change started to take place but now it is even more definable, they are still distinctly the same band — the bass is still distorted through the roof, the two playing fingers of the keyboardist still take a beating, the screams are still raw and they can still blast like hell — but there’s now even more there. Unfortunately perhaps the 7” offers no new Trencher tracks in the sense that it’s a remix offering from them, but fear not, there’s a new album — yes! Check out their Lips soon…

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