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Gnod / Anthroprophh (live at The Old Malt House)

Bristol
29 April 2015

The no-show of Shit & Shine was a bit of a disappointment but Anthroprophh wiped any dissatisfaction clean away with their deep-bellied spectral scream of speaker abuse.Anthroprophh live at The Old Malt House

Wedging their weapons into the speakers, it was a wholesome racket, all ill-tempered tilting extremes, suddenly poured out into a martial law of double drums, Gareth and Jesse smacking a strong rhythmic core to which Paul fed a sway of psychedelic serpents. A guitar that seemed to be constantly gnawing away at its leash, diving, spitting the convulsive.

Gnod live at The Old Malt HouseAn impossible to pin chaos that tore holes in a fixed stare of horizon or just flayed epileptically around.An energy contrasted later in some dark electrified cello, Alan trickling broken glass down its spine, as the tensile bows gathered, became destructive, kicked into tow with kettled percussives and a tensile toppling of keylines, forging towards a finale that literally ate into your head with pure satisfaction.

Gnod live at The Old Malt HouseHeadliners Gnod seem to have come full circle; gone were the banks of flashing diodes and back in with the guitar-based shenanigans of the past. Pared down to a foursome, they started with a bubbling soundscape, the Rorschach Blot backdrop onscreen dusting out in white powdery growths, as a slow seepage of trance-like energies gave way to a Durutti Column-like sparkle cantering on a miasma of words. Poetics that soon navigated to a storm of activity as the film behind them flickered with a barrage of tasty abstracts and everything notched up into a lime house of effervescent shapes and swaying contours.

A mighty fine swagger twisting on retractive waves of screeching guitar that fell into massive percussive hollows, counter-punched in a thick sinew of bass. A rage of Swanslike energy, bear baited in explosions of Mary Chain-like violence as Paddy screwdrivered the frets, and bawled his head off. Fiery stuff that at one point took on a surreal and colourful T-Rex-like verve. A giddy beast in which the saxophone scrambled briefly through, gelling perfectly to the booming dub-like contours that were spilling the place — if I wasn’t so ill I would have danced more.

Brilliant hard-edged stuff that Paddy later remarked as being “Sounds for our times”.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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