The BeatingsEdit this event
The Metro is absolutely packed to the rafters tonight, and it's a noticeable split; while the majority are here to see alt-gonzo rock legend J Mascis, there is a substantial amount of people (largely looking like extras from a Strokes video) here to see London's latest media sensations, The Beatings.
The band slink on stage looking largely dishevelled; perhaps its their natural stage look, or possibly its because they've arrived having grimly hung on to the coat tails of the garage rock craze sweeping ten square miles of the country, and boy, refusing to let go of this opportunity. The hair is freshly grown, the attitude newly discovered, and the riffs, well they've been half-inched and dusted off from their previous residence in the museum of archaic rock.
The band nary say a word, perhaps anxious not to convey their distinctly Anglo accents to a crowd firmly ready to believe their status as soon-to-be hot young things. Or perhaps like their songs, The Beatings do not have a single original, sincere thing to say. Perhaps they know they're shit, reheated refried has-beens and called themselves The Beatings so we can get the all-too obvious jokes over with. Don't watch this space.
J Mascis on the other hand seems to have the longevity of the Queen Mother. I can't remember how long he's been around or exactly what he's done, but I know this: he looks like Wayne & Garth's dad and plays the noisiest acoustic guitar I've ever heard.
Sounding like Neil Young's more surreal brother, we are treated to solo renditions of an array of material dating back from early Dinosaur Jr to songs from his last album with The Fog and new songs from his next album 'Free So Free', including his upcoming single, _'Everybody Lets Me Down'_. In typical J Mascis style, cracked, fragile songs are interspersed with monolithic distorted lead guitar lines, all coaxed from one acoustic guitar.
The format, an intimate solo acoustic show may be a well-worn route to promoting new material to an already smitten crowd, but the performance is anything but functional. Five encores in, you get the impression that if he wasn't an alt-rock guitar legend, he'd of made a decent fist of this solo singer-songwriter malarkey.
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- J Mascis, The Beatings at Metro, London, South East England, Fri 13 Sep