We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: UK BANDS ARE CURRENTLY PRODUCING SOME INCREDIBLE HEAVY MUSIC. And we should count ourselves lucky that we have a label as good as Barely Regal not only releasing some of the best loud shit South Wales has to offer, but also – in conjunction with Kicked In The Face promotions – bringing the best of the rest of the UK to our capital. Over the past 12 months Cardiff has seen all kinds of inventive brutality brought to its front door.
Tonight’s shindig was kicked off by London #UKSWELL stalwarts Pariso, who laid a whole load of brutal riffs, super-fast drumming and breakdowns on Clwb Ifor Bach’s ground floor. Imagine Slipknot without the masks and clichés, add a whole load of math-punk and you have this brilliant five piece. They induced headbanging and attentive stares with their powerful performance, and hopefully drew everyone present towards their excellent debut LP Nothing Beyond Everything After.
Southampton’s The Long Haul followed, whose short set should perhaps have preceded Pariso’s arguably headline-worthy performance. Nonetheless they are still a really good band, and the energy of their recent EP Debtors is clearly derived from their live presence. While I was disappointed by their rejection of EP highlight ‘Puppets and Wires’, a guest appearance from Goodtime Boys’ Alex Pennie on ‘Anhedonia’ helped to keep the audience guessing – as did the drummer substitution for the coda of set-closer ‘Blank Canvas’.
The Death of Her Money’s brutal wall of sound was good, but compared with the touring proficiency of their predecessors lacked a degree of efficiency. Their ‘couldn’t-give-two-fucks’ attitude was certainly likeable, and their Sonic Youth and Big Black t-shirts were telling in terms of musical influences. But having their bassist and drummer exiting the stage during their final song – to the surprise and disconcertion of front man Darren Kaskie – smacked of comfort-zone. They’re a brilliant band with a hell of a lot to offer; they should deliver it every time they play.
Words: Joe O’Connell