MVP Friday 11th May
Upstairs at MVP old Superman cartoons played on the big screen, and the floor and equipment were covered with random cardboard arrangements, while the Gruschow family recital, with special guests, Not So Experimental took place. While downstairs featured Vengaboys music videos and $2 bubbles (for the worst hangover ever) which I took full advantage of. Uggh.Oldest brother Sam Gruschow performing under the name of Grusome was first up, surrounded by keyboards and synthesizers through which he emitted his dance inducing electro crossed with drum and bass crossed with sci fisounding bleeps.
Four piece, loose and raw punk-rockers Punchbowl took to the floor next, with Sam’s sister Kim spitting vocals. While all girls, this group are far from the accusation of being a ‘novelty band’ as girl bands are so often labelled. Fuelled on feminist ideals and the raw energy essential to punk-rock, they are one of my watch-this-space bands of the moment.
Youngest Gruschow brother followed, with his two man act- Goodbye Galaxy – made up of Bernie Galaxy and Heleyni Galaxy, who mixed a brash combination of hardcore and techno, armed with keytar, electric guitar and intense screams.
The highlight of the night was Christchurch band Not So Experimental, featuring spastic post hardcore with a vocalist that screeched at a frequency akin to a dolphin. Baby faced, nihilistic, and fucking raw, singer Jonno propelled himself forth into the crowd, jumping, shoving and ultimately collapsing on the floor, all the while screaming into his mic like death was at his door.Speaking of screaming and death, while I was at MVP, Tristan checked out “Triumph of Death” at Valve.
Triumph of Death (metal night) @ Valve, 11 May
Reviewed by Tristan Egarr
Valve metal nights: where else would you find couples holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes while banging their heads? I arrived at the ‘Triumph of Death’ gig while Slave Cadaver were barking into the mic and knew that it would be a good night.
Excrete then took the stage, with extreme standing-still while thrashing fingers across a thigh-bone shaped bass guitar action. Their highlight? “This is a song about molesting little boys, it’s called Holy Molestation.” And out from the shrieks and wails, the chorus to this tune rang loud and clear – “Holy molestation! Holy molestation!” Excrete’s major influences appeared to be Slayer and more Slayer. Their bass player burned his fingers up and down his frets with no thought for occupational overuse syndrome.
About this time my posse and I sifted out back for a smoking break. Valve has two excellent physical attributes: one is the library of famous bands’ drum sticks, from Shihad to Tool to Soundgarden, which sits upon the wall; the other is the concrete smokers’ paddock out back, surrounded by steel industrial walls, where addicts graze upon tobacco.
Next up was Black Tooth from Hamilton. The guitar player had a hell Amish beard and a Flying-X shaped axe with uncut string-antennae sticking out the end. He crunched out hard-rock style power chords.
The bass player wore a plaid shirt, khaki pants, khaki shoes and – no-one should be able to play a six-string bass that fast. The vocalist, in a sleeveless army shirt, bent backwards giving a tenor cookie-monster growl. The drummer had a shiny head and hard tattoos. These guys finally compelled me to get up and mosh, although since this was the first time I’ve moshed since cutting off my dreads it wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been. God I miss long hair.
The last band, Sankhara, put slightly less emphasis upon actually wearing clothes and slightly more emphasis on shredding and shrieking. At this point I realized that I had not written enough about any of the bands’ actual music, but that I was by now far too drunk to do so. So I turned to the dude next to me and asked him what he thought of Sankhara – he said to me “They’re from Taihape. That is all that matters.” Then I went and ate two steak pies.