T-Break Heat 2 @ The Liquid Room, 8 May

Article by Caroline Hurley | 15 Jun 2006

Imagine you're getting married and every close relative is in a band, so you're obligated to let them all play, despite some resembling musicians and some unable to disguise the drunken uncles they are. Welcome to T-Break set lists.

Lords Of Bastard {****} are up first, sounding like the slightly suspicious, scruffy cousins with LOUD on their agenda. Touching on punk, metal, surf rock and post-grunge the Lords proved not to everyone's tastes but as musicians and in performance, were the most convincing.

Next up, Scunner {**}: here comes the mad-cap auntie, replete with feather boa and pint in a vase. Attempting the stripped down sound and comedic cabaret allusions of The Dresden Dolls, a couple of tracks in the novelty wore off and I was just wishing they'd find the other two-thirds of the drum kit.

Laki Mera {**} stood in stark contrast, their quiet Sigur Ros-style samples and strings were delivered with no attempt at an eye catching performance as they meandered through melancholia. A pleasant voice was reduced to a whisper in a set as weepy and ignorable as the twice-divorced sister of the bride's best friend.

Korova {***} had energy and some catchy enough guitars riffing over disco beats but the on-stage interaction looked rehearsed and although fitting into the current guitar-pop melee well enough, there was nothing memorable.

Meursault {***}, were pleasingly not as pretentious as their existentialism-inspired name would suggest. The lead singer's earnest and involving vocals were married nicely with the semi-acoustic strains of heartbreak; mature if not exciting.

Finally, once everyone is drunk enough, Underbelly {**} arrive; although these guys play with a sincerity honed from tearful repeated viewings of 'Oasis - Live at Knebworth', and seem to enjoy what they do - there is not much here; three chord songs for drunken lads. [Caroline Hurley]