Racebannon / Battleship / Eye @ Henry's Cellar Bar

a bowel-shuddering growl of fuzzed up strings with grinding, shrieking blasts of rapid violence

Article by Jamie Borthwick | 15 Jul 2006
Purveyors of flawless post-rock, Eye were first up to test the acoustic resolve of the claustrophobic Henry's stage. Result? Soaring ambient passages, layered thick with instrumental emotion and hair-raising distortion-fed crescendos. Few on the live circuit can raise a crowd up in ethereal rapture and crash down again in a sensual overload of sound quite so adeptly.

Plugging in to a monstrous stack of amp, Oakland natives Battleship are striking, both musically and in performance. The bass thrusts with a flavour of Zeppelin, but the essence of Battleship is altogether different. Their breakneck punked-up psychedelia has shades of early Black Flag but ultimately, it espouses a frustrating intangibility: the performance is only craftily sewn together by mesmerising frontman Alex Prechtl.

Nine years of laying down a sick array of capricious, mindfucking recordings has earned Racebannon a small but passionate following this side of the pond. Mixing up a bowel-shuddering growl of fuzzed up strings with grinding, shrieking blasts of rapid violence, Racebannon force the listener to compete for every strain of numbing noise against their captivating posturing. Mike Anderson's vocals lure the valiant into a seedy rotation of staccato rhyme, instrumental hoot and detonated scream. Certainly it struck a brash chord with the crowd who, though small in number, were huge in enthusiasm. "You guys have the best dance moves I've seen!" gushed Anderson as the band were talked into yet another encore. I had no reason to doubt his veracity. [Jamie Borthwick]