Saturday 9th February 2013

Edinburgh School For The Deaf, Plastic Animals, Battery Face

Battery Face

Industrial growls, groans and howls fill the air. Battery Face start as they mean to on.

They mix riffing so heavy it sounds like two bulldozers wrestling, synth with a ferocious bite, Paganini level virtuoso guitar playing, and punk yelling Rotten would be proud of. Brutal and uncompromising.

The songs crackle and fizz as they veer unpredictably. Verse/chorus structure is nowhere to be seen, short of some recurring riff motifs. It is angry, intense and very, very loud. Bleeding ear drums.

It is just as well its mostly pure noise – they would probably struggled to achieve a more nuanced sound given that they didn’t turn up for soundcheck. They also relish in complaining about the venue (which is a first for Limbo, in well over a hundred gigs and five years plus). The singer admits they probably won’t play here again. He’s not wrong, and should probably work on his banter.


Plastic Animals

With Plastic Animals, the fuzz guitar sounds less like it is attempting to stab you in the face, and more like a Hawaiian epic breaking wave in slow motion. Surfers paradise. The feedback sounds like whale song.

Uplifting and melodic. Some songs have a driving beat, some are more ethereal, freeform offerings. All are evocative and inventive. And thoroughly nice boys they are.

That is not to say they can’t get loud and fuzzy. As our singer sings “I lost my way”, the band grow ever more vitriolic, until he is reciting over a wall of crackling noise. Plastic Animals continue to grow in ambition and stature. Long may this continue.


Edinburgh School For The Deaf

Epic noise whirls around. Emphatic, ominous, and every quicker stabs pound over the top of the noise. It sounds like the drum leading to the hangman’s noose. The anticipation builds. There is a palpable sense of excitement in the room.

In a testament to how accomplished the band are, singer Aggie doesn’t even take to the stage before song three. In the mean time, the band conjure up fuzzy soundscapes infused with the jeopardy of a wild west stand-off.

In contrast to many bands, all members of Edinburgh School For The Deaf inject their delivery with real emotion. It gives so much more weight to the songs, and makes for an utterly compelling performance. When the all-consuming tirade of noise hits, it feels like an aural outpouring of their emotions. Awesome.

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