My dear readers, I was wrong and I have failed you. I figure I was doing you a service by pointing out a potential good band in Biffy Clyro. Not only did these Britons disappointed me, I might have to re-listen to Puzzle and ask myself, "What did I see in this band that made me want to see them live?" The other mea culpa, Enter Shikari, might be the worst band I've ever seen. I came because Mr. Tony Wilson gives these bands his stamp of approval as part of the In the City festival. Who am I to argue with him?
On the bright side, Blood Red Shoes are the real deal -- hugs and kisses to Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell for putting on a solid U.S. debut.
I considered not even writing up a post of Biffy and Shikari, but it took a chuck out of my free time tonight to see them and it shouldn't go to complete waste.
The headliner tonight was Biffy Clyro, a three piece who at first impression was a prog rock version of the Foo Fighters. The first song off their latest album, Puzzle, is called "Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies" and it's brilliantly constructed song with big orchestra hits mixed with a lot of guitars. It's pretty ambitious. Maybe, I should have listened to the album in one sitting instead of picking out a few tunes.
I could barely make it through three songs. After witnessing Enter Shikari, my interest level for the rest of the evening was a 2 out 10. In any event, here's what they had on their setlist:
- Who's Got a Match?
- Saturday Superhouse
- A Whole Child Ago
- Get Fucked Stud
- Now I'm Everyone
- Just Boy
- Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies
- Love Has a Diameter
- Glitter & Trauma
Here's the bottom line, after 40 minutes of screaming, I was not in the mood for more screaming and strobe light effects. The shirtless, long-haired band came out to a half-filled room and played their first song. For a second, I thought it was the wrong band because they sounded like Nickleback. It didn't get any better with "Saturday Superhouse." I cut my losses and headed home.
I could dedicate a novella on why Enter Shakira or Shikari could be the worst band in known creation. It's almost biblical in stature the amount of ineptness they display. I'm truly hoping they are some sort of joke band like Tenacious D or Flight of the Conchords and they are all comedians putting on an act.
They combine all the elements that I don't like in music -- screaming for no reason and the same guitar chords in every song. Maybe I'm not the right person to be seeing them or writing up a post. I will, and never will, like hardcore. The fan base is very protective and passionate of their music and scene. I just don't have the personality to understand or identify with it.
Tony Wilson has said something along the lines that they are the best thing in music since the Sex Pistols. I wish he could explain that reasoning to me. On stage, they look like a bunch of drugged up idiots who have no clue what they are doing. Well, the Sex Pistols were that way too. Yet, the crowd loved them and knew every lyric. Hey, more power to them. I'm glad they are reaching an audience.
Musically, they are like a raved-up hybrid version of Korn and The Prodigy. You hear the standard speed metal guitar riffs that Metallica invented, and then it cuts to some early 90s raver beats. Then the guys on stage just jump around and the crowd goes ape shit.
It's not that I hate them, they just really annoyed me. They took way too long to get on stage -- probably because they were waiting for the drugs to kick in or they were debating whether to come on stage with their hoodies up or down. If anything, they were entertaining in that, "They are so bad, I'm laughing on the inside" feeling. The high point was when all the band members dropped their instruments and let the rave music take over. Then they all started dancing like Ali G but it wasn't a comedy routine. The other fun part, check out this introduction to a song: "We locked ourselves in a room with no light and no food for three days. Just water to keep up alive. When we got out, we wrote this song." Not sure if that was a joke or not.
The usually classy Highline was turned into the Warped Tour. By the end, a few scuffles broke out and the room was left smelling of B.O. and fake fog. Icky.
I'm not sure if they are poised to make a name for themselves in the States. They will find an audience. I can see a Honda Civic Tour or an opening spot for A Simple Plan. Their t-shirts will sell fast at Hot Topic in malls across America. Maybe Mountain Dew will license a song from them for an ad.
Okay that's enough, let the nasty comments begin.
Now time for the positive. Blood Red Shoes lived up to my expectations. They ruled. Their two person power garage rock was smoking and rocking. Yes, it's the White Stripes formula, but they are little more indie based than blues rock. That guitarist has the chops and the drummer never missed a beat. What an amazing duo they make. I hope you take a listen to them, because they've got the goods.