Jherek Bischoff has been listening to a lot of Radiohead. And not the
fly-by-night-fan’s favourite stuff either; the weird shit.
Bischoff – a multi-instrumentalist now recording under the moniker of
Ribbons – in fact sounds so much like Thom Yorke in his vocals that
probably find yourself clapping the opening lyrics of the troubled ‘All Of Us’, as if in the Stars In Their Eyes studio.
And he’s got the weightless-but-heavy music of ‘In Rainbows’ down too
processed beats that tick and dub away,
along with sparse guitar strums and passing instruments, the names of which escape you. All of this will probably not do ‘Royals’ any favours,
and yet it should as Bond-theme-on-downers ‘The Last And The Least Likely’ suggests, Ribbons’ stretching musical talents are not the work of a cheat.
Front man Matt Korvette’s flailing performance fills the space where spooky outfits would have been.
He cuts an awkward, shuffling figure like Angus Andrew from Liars, lolloping about as if dancing to post punk wearing a temperamental pacemaker, but his volatile antics seem forced.
The only moments of authentic zeal are his face’s shade of scarlet after he
wretches over the microphone.
At times doom metal creeps through, the bass guitar resonating painfully slowly as if strapped to a torture wheel,
and groovy grunge hooks pep the sound up; if only Korvette would drop the teenage turbotheatrics then these might shine through.
But there’s San Francisco psychedelists Wooden Shjips, who revitalise the evening with their swirling tie-dye cloaked soundscapes.
Their acidic, organ-led rock’n’roll often trails off into long-winded Krautrock-like freak-outs that have listeners nodding into their pints, but
they’re an adorably mismatched assortment all
the same – guitarist Erik ‘Ripley’ Johnson’s cartoonish gold turban is a particular highlight.
Had this been forty years previous, they’d be first in line for a Roger Corman film soundtrack.
Les Savy Fav are well placed to pick up the beats.
Decked out in voodoo make-up and black hoodies, they hurtle through ‘Patty Lee’ as the audience place bets on when bearded, bellied frontman Tim Harrington will get naked.
Two songs in and he’s topless, make-up melting down his face, and ends the rousing alt.indie-punk belter ‘Yawn Yawn Yawn’ wearing a demon baby
figure like a hat.
What LSF lack in a thrilling sonic catalogue – ‘Tragic Monsters’ and ‘The
Sweat Descends’ are the remaining sing-along treats – but Harrington, deprived of a mega dose
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