Sunday night at Kage Nightclub saw the Brain Fever/Bonehouse tour wrap up with a hometown show for the Bonehouse boys in Dundee. The two bands have covered most of the UK over the last two weeks and I could detect a sense of excitement in the air surrounding the last show. Bonehouse have seen a great response to their July 2012 demo (which I reviewed previously) and have been destroying venues around the country since it came out. Jamie had given me the heads-up that they were incredible in Edinburgh on Saturday night, so I was very much looking forward to catching their last show of tour. It’s pretty just a matter of fact that bands get infinitely tighter when they’ve spent any amount of time on the road and that theory would once again be proven correct.
The Shithawks kicked things off with their patented brand of noisy slacker garage punk. They are a pretty wild band musically, constantly teetering on the brink of chaos but always managing to keep things together with a sleazy riff and some demented hollering from frontman Dan. The Shithawks play punk rock with a definite artschool twist and they have some great stage banter. They haven’t been a band for too long, really just getting started after the demise of Gong Fei, but they definitely made some more fans this evening. My personal highlight of the set may well be the new song “Dick Blues”, a video of which you can see below. The next time we will be graced with the presence of The Shithawks will be at the Blacklist Royals show at Kage on Sunday 23rd September. Full details of that banger can be found here.
Next up were the mighty Kaddish. Again, much like The Murderburgers, is absolutely no secret that Kaddish are one of my favourite bands, not just locally, but favourite bands period. Once again, they stepped up to the plate and delivered an intense and heart-wrenchingly passionate set of their distinctive abrasive hardcore/skramz jamz. The new stuff is sounding absolutely incredible and I, along with many others I’m sure, are waiting in patient anticipation of their upcoming second full length. It’s a massive trauma for any band when they lose a lead vocalist, but Kaddish seem to have taken that challenge and morphed into an even more intense proposition. The pure anguish in Dom’s vocal delivery is the kind of thing that stands the hair on the back of your neck on end, and tonight was absolutely no exception. Blasting through a six song set, Kaddish were over all-too quickly, but left us wanting more as they always do. The new record will absolutely destroy, of that I have complete and utter faith. Once Kaddish manage to get themselves out on the road again, they will decimate everything that they come into contact with. Undoubtedly one of the greatest screamo/hardcore bands in Europe, if not the world. Call me hyperbolic if you must, but I absolutely believe that to be true. Here’s a good 10 minutes of their set from last night. Stunning.
Brain Fever from Calgary, Alberta, Canada were up next and were a fearsome proposition indeed. I was speaking to them earlier in the evening and the only anecdotal facts about Calgary I could furnish them with were stories about the Hart family. Being a pro wrestling geek, I tend to get rather over-excited about these things, as my own bandmates would attest to. As it stands, they knew of the Hart Foundation but weren’t particularly excited by said story. Can’t say I really blame them and they seemed a little confused that some Scottish goon at a hardcore show was talking to them about wrestling legends. Such is life. Anyways, I digress. During said previous conversations, the drummer told me that they try to always use a different time signature in every movement of every song. Little did I know how accurate that assertion would turn out to be!
Brain Fever play ridiculously intense, frantic, skull-splitting hardcore that pauses for breath only to reel you into a false sense of security before absolutely pummelling you once more. Perhaps it’s a lazy comparison based on both having female vocalists, but Brain Fever very much reminded me of Circle Takes The Square. Mathy, angular, desperate screamo/hardcore madness that devastates is how I would describe it, played with passion and an exuberance that you just can’t fake. All the guys in the band seemed super-nice and everyone was very excited to be playing music overseas, although there was definitely a hint of sadness in the air as the tour was drawing to an end. They certainly didn’t let it stop them as they ripped through their set with zeal and encouraged everyone else to get involved. Inclusive, introspective hardcore? Yup. Incredible band, if you can get your head around it! You can get their new record now from Pint Sized Records and can stream it online here.
Last up were Bonehouse. I spoke to them all at various points prior to their set, including Dave immediately beforehand in the lavs, hurrying him on as I had to catch the last train back to Perth. It was clear from talking to them that the tour had been a success, perhaps not monetarily but in terms of inspiration. That was a word that I heard numerous times throughout the evening. Touring is inspiring, as there’s few things in life better than seeing new places and playing the music that you love.
Playing every night also makes your band fucking tight. That was instantly apparent when Bonehouse kicked in; the radge parts were suitably radge, the quiet parts suitably introspective and intense, dynamics sharpened. It was clear, to my mind at least, that this was an important show. Dave was more talkative onstage and spent more time facing the audience, seemingly more comfortable in his role of frontman. This comes across in his vocal delivery also, more of a yelp against Owen and Sean’s smoother croons. Plenty of singing along and hand-clapping down the front too.
Unfortunately I missed the end of set invitation stage invasion as I had to boost to run for my last train. I didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye to anybody as I sneaked out, but Bonehouse were rocking it and appeared to be having a great time doing it. If you haven’t already done so, get the new recordings from their bandcamp. Don’t send them e-cheques though, whatever the hell they are.
Cracking show all round, especially for a Sunday night in Dundee. There’s a few rad Sunday night shows coming up over the next few months, including the Blacklist Royals show we announced today, so it’d be good to keep the ball rolling!