Friday 7th December 2012

We Are The Physics, Snide Rhythms, The Bad Books

The Bad Books

A tune is furiously hammered out to the clang of electric guitars. There is a 90’s indie feel in the sense of Oasis or early Manics. Also like the Manics, there are self-confessed angry songs.

After ardently attacking his guitar for the first few songs, things get interesting when the singer lays it down to grasp the mic in earnest. He gestures wildly, staring through the crowd. The intensity level takes an immediate lift.

They then switch things to a more melodic tone. Chords are allowed to ring out, rather than be strangled through angry guitar. Their final song combines both styles – fervent but with melodic walls of sound.

The set is not without glitches, but they are more than made up for by the affability of the band. Undoubtedly, there is something satisfyingly rough and raw, and honest, about the whole affair.


Snide Rhythms

Experimental. Anarchic. Hell-bent on inventiveness. These don’t come close to describing the avant garde roller-coaster that is Snide Rhythms. They begin through a maelstrom of noise. A song, of sorts, gradually emerges. It’s more an engaging aural assault than a song, although melody rears it’s ugly head on occasion. It’s all the more discombobulating for the fact that they all look like Maths undergrads.

When they decide to do an actual song, it is still uncompromising, but carries a serious funk groove underneath. A pissed Mark E Smith (tautology?) sings Jamiroquai, if you will.

Oh no, now it’s lounge jazz. Brutally uncompromising lounge jazz. Obviously.

It appears that when Snide Rhythms are devising a song, any sonic idea is thrown in with gay abandon. The reality is probably more mundane, but the illusion is a good one.


We Are The Physics

It is unusual, to say the least, to match thrashing guitars with choreography, but We Are The Physics are obviously aware that a performance carries more impact when the sum is greater than the parts. Many players going apeshit in their own way is entertaining and dance-inducing, but when contrasted with moments of utter unison and clarity, the chaos gains further impact. And they do lose themselves in the songs – something that is all too rare.

And visually, the band are on top of it to – synchronised gestures, clapping, taking turns to sing a line so the melody is thrown around the stage. It is all very effective and compelling.

None of this would work if they weren’t a tight to the point of military precision. Behind the abandon is a ruthless practice regime. It says much for their confidence in their own stagecraft that they pause midway through one song for a photo taken by the guitarist. And it barely feels like it interrupts the flow of the song. Not to mention passing their guitar to a member of the audience for a solo on another song. (Big shout outs to Brian Mowley, by the way.) Suffice to say – they know what they’re doing.

The choreography. The visual impact. The matching shirts saying ‘Physics’. Trite summary it may be, but We Are The Physics are the real deal. Simple as that. They clearly have the stagecraft, talent and ambition to conquer stadiums.

“How does it feel to be in the most underrated band of all time,” asks the singer. He shouldn’t be asking that question much longer.

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