Thursday, March 26, 2009

Battles @ Orange Club 19.03.09

After I witnessed the reverb brilliance of Battles in Big Day Out a year ago, me and the usual took no hesitation to lay our hands on the tickets to a rare outing by a math rock band in this part of the world.

My energy was drained from working during first half of the day, but that doesn't deter me from getting hyped up for the inventive, genre-bending sound that Battles would bring on to the gig. The boys from Twilight Action Girl warmed up the crowd after the door was opened late almost to 9pm. Then
Killeur Calculateur took on the stage with their brand of hardcore punk which seemed to pleased most of the crowd.

It took a while for the technician and crew to set up, shifting keyboards stands and drumkits across the stage and plugging in wires and laptops, before the highlights of the night took the stage. The band burst out of the blocks with Race: Out, meshing together with Tij, SZ2, and TRAS, a set of funky beats bristling with intent that it sets down an immediate and impressive marker for what is to follow.

Ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier stomped his way off with his trademark up high cymbal. Pounding his drums with a scarily intense look on his face, the human drum machine created most of the band’s drive. Tyondai Braxton created live voice samples in front of our eyes, then looped them with keys and guitar like a painter at work. Ian Williams alternated between keys and guitar, and Dave Konopka in guitar complemented the math-rock superband. Highlight was one of the best tracks of year 2007 - Atlas. The epic track sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy, everyone was singing along to "singer is crook woo-eee-oh."

By the time the gig winds up an hour or so later, Stanier looked like he needs an oxygen mask or just a closet of towels. The crowd did manage to prise the band back on stage for an encore of HI/LO and Bad Trails, with Stanier's intense drumming still sounding incredibly fierce.

Despite the subpar soundsystem and ocassionally power outage, everyone left delighted with the rare reverb feast dished out by Soundscape. Definitely looking forward to more exciting events.

Battles - Tij

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