Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nova Twins + Abel Gray + Crime & Punishment 2011 + Face Up. Live at The Sunflower Lounge Review (25/9/16)

Face Up (7.6) are the kind of band who make punk rock seem less like a genre of music and more like a 24/7 lifestyle choice. They look exactly like you would expect a punk band to look, wearing the kind of clothes you could probably buy in Sex circa 1977 and playing loud fast and simple songs (albeit with some pretty cool guitar solos and heavy bass drum work), what sets them apart from being just another punk band is their brilliantly charismatic front-woman. With her bright red hair and ripped tights looking exactly the part. She's happy to get right into peoples faces on stage. She sings in an empowered croak that brings to mind Kim Gordon at her most pissed off. Ironically being the first band on they seemed to bring a long the most fans, its not hard to see why.
In theory Crime and Punishment 2011 (7.6) should have fit the bill perfectly, with their mix of grime inspired bars and heavy metal guitar samples, yet they seem to be out of place on whatever bill they end up on. Yet a small gathering of fans attend each gig. With each show I've seen CPK get more confident. All four members can be found screaming, rapping or having nervous breakdowns on the floor of them venue. While none of the new songs or covers of Skepta or The Weeknd were aired, old favourites such as 'Bodybags' and newer tunes such as 'paralysed' sound good as ever. While Birmingham may be currently gaining notoriety for Grime stars such as Lady Leishurr, SP, and Sox Abel Gray (8) stands out from the crowd. Unlike most MC's his bars are backed by live drums,  with more instrumentals fed through an array of effects pedals. His music isn't that far from the jazzy hip-Hop of Kendrick Lamar, or the laid back sounds of Drake. Yet he has an experimental edge that is all his own and a quiet confidence to his speedy flow. While his live show is low on frills, his dance moves and natural charm are enough to make his sets very entertaining.
The last time around grime was big, a new genre was born called 'Grindie' So it makes sense that we're already seeing the emergence of 'Grime-Punk'. Despite all the hype it was a relatively small crowd that stayed to see Nova Twins (8.4) headline the Sunflower Lounge. Nova Twins sound is based around a huge bass guitar sound, (almost like the also brilliant punk band Show Me the Body). In fact the bass and drums are so heavy that they could almost be described as Dub-Punk. While one of the twins feeds her bass playing through a huge board of pedals, the other twin, plays guitar and lets off fast streams of rapping, (through two microphones, like Mark E Smith!) They look cool as fuck and they've got loads of attitude. I have a feeling that I may end up bragging about seeing this show in two years time. It was all over pretty quickly, chaos didn't ensue, but I still feel that Nova Twins could be huge.


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