May 29, 2009

Times New Viking//Mazes//Teen Sheikhs

Two weeks ago I went to this. Some scrawled thoughts..

Teen Sheikhs are Brighton based multi-taskers (Sex is Disgusting, design, Where to Now? Radio, being students, partying hard) who have the best time EVER. Not just in their set, which they rattle out with ever-pumped-up confidence, but at all the other bands sets. Shame to those not really getting it then because this line -up – in a tiny room somewhere in the middle of a warehouse development that the tube hasn’t ever heard of – is worth a bit of enthusiasm.

These guys- part punk, a bit grunge, all chorus – start the night well. The room might be toning down some of the distorto-fuzziness that usually accompanies Andrew, Bill and James’ hat toting cheeky grins but its all good stuff. Pretty sure there are some new tracks thrown in amongst the usual roll call.

They are releasing on Captured Tracks (so get ready for them in (h)America) and when it is finally done it’ll have (more than likely) have been worth the wait.

Mazes are also releasing a record soon. Although that’s on Teen Sheikhs’ (minus one) label Sex is Disgusting – making this some kind of inter band inter project orgy night. Their set is a good one, lively, building up nicely around rockabilly turn,” that one about Mark E Smith that also talks about Beth Murphy” (mega-embarrassing for Mazes-founder Jack? probably not – he sings it anyway) and languid thumpy one Metric Tower. They even seem a bit more lively, cheeky sense of humour coming through in wry Manchester chat that is probably lost on most people slumped in the arm chairs and snuggled on the sofas that compliment Jamboree’s thrown together decor. Record will be a good’un.

Probably exhausted and definitely very hot the new TNV system (there is sometimes messed up bass, the new songs are a bit longer) lacks a bit of the old stuff’s oomph but they still can rip a good track. Adam almost-stands on the drums and Beth gives the keys a serious shaking. They hardly pause for breath throughout, though there is a lovely shoutout to POP SONGS (and TNV are obviously making great ones) in amongst the LOUD serrated sound.

Times New Viking – R.I.P Allegory

Those same serrating noises, if only you actually LISTEN, aren’t that ear-deafeningly scary at all. Far from throw melody out with the ‘we’re noisy us’ tag or disregard hooks for distorto-techniques and reverb-soaked pretension Times New Viking write songs to (kind of) sing along to. Songs that – give or take a mashed synthesiser – verge on being pretty. Who hasn’t had the opening bars of New Times, New Hope on the tip of their tongue, had (my head) stuck in their head, or shouted DEVO & WINE! at some kind of disco.

An all round winner, its a shame more people didn’t fancy something a little bit different to another night at the Old Blue Last.

(saying that you can see Mazes and Deep Sht there on the 6th June. Blank Dogs had to cancel due to VISA issues.)

You can buy TNV stuff at Siltbreeze

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