United Fruit @ King Tut's, 16 January
After an acoustic warm-up session in the downstairs bar from Jonathan Snee (Flood of Red), Kings Tut's New Years Revolution series continues with a set from Edinburgh trio Lady North. After a nervy opener, there's danceable math-rock aplenty with a mix of synth-emulating guitars and some mighty fine, hyper-urgent playing from dextrous drummer Paul Bannon. Bearing more than a passing sonic resemblance to the juddering likes of Don Caballero and Minus the Bear, by now their unified interplay suggests they're well capable of making their own distinct mark.
The sharp-suited Natalie Pryce emerge next; slick-haired frontman Mark Swan makes his presence known by rambling away manically into a vintage mic, Nick Cave style, as he flails around the stage. He pulls out various toys throughout the set which add a finishing touch to the creepy, murky projections cast on stage, while a bass-heavy rhythm section bring the pain. Despite an obvious fascination for Lynch, their songs and live show are individually compelling.
Glasgow/Falkirk hardcore outfit Hunt/Gather step up next with some well-received new material. For a band that's only been at it for around a year, they're a unit who play as if they've been together an age. Although the infamous anti-mosh barrier threatens to suffocate the energy, their ire still turns what was once a fairly static crowd into a bunch of headbanging loons.
United Fruit had an encouraging 2011; to buy into their supercharged noise rock is understandable as they belt through songs like Push It and Kamikaze. But like Charlie Sheen, these boys have only got one speed, one gear – go. With energy levels visibly beginning to wane around the room – particularly five bands in – there has to be a comedown after an adrenaline rush, but there's never any sense that the Glasgow quartet outstay their welcome. With NYR's remit to provide a snapshot of where independant Scottish rock bands are at in 2012, tonight's ensemble cast has been exemplary.