Erase Errata and KaitOEdit this event
- Astoria, London »
Fuck, isn't anyone sick of this? Girls in bands that yelp yelp yelp, string out a discordant chord here and there and proclaim themselves to be serious punk-rock artists - rubbish. Punk is fucking things up painfully and visibly, shocking and pissing off as many people as humanly possible for a reason - because YOU'RE pissed off for a valid reason - screw teen angst. And this makes a joke of it. KaitO**. Yelp yelp yelp. Yelp. This band made sense two years ago. Their spiky sound pulsated with fervour and purpose - even at its most incomprehensible, it throbbed with a self-justifying, compelling fury. What happened? Right now, this means nothing at all. Nothing they do conveys anything other than the desire to make a racket; it's a mess, and not even a mess for any conceivable reason. Recent recorded efforts show they can still do better than this; but tonight all they have is a great drummer that they don't fucking deserve. That's it.
Erase Errata. Galloping drum cycles, blah-shaped chords and lower-pitched yelping. What happened to fucking great female vocalists? We're not talking professionally trained, clean-as-a-whistle, sieved-to-fine-grained-perfection bullshit, but something individual and alive and corrosive and for God's sake, memorable - something that could leave acid-splattered footprints eroding the ceiling of your skull and deep vibrations reverberating through the inner sanctum of your ears for days. Janis. Joni. Tori. Courtney. Any fresh recruits on the way? No? Yelp-yelp it is then. Fuck OFF, this will never affect anything. This will not jolt Ver System or push things forward, it's not brave or new - it doesn't even have "attractive" in its favour. Everett True is WRONG. Why the fuck are there two drumkits? You can only hear one of them. Fucking pointless.
But. Wait. Something... yes. Now we're talking. Both drumkits getting a royal pounding - and sweet mother of Keith, you can actually hear the kicking that's being inflicted on them both. It sounds like a Xinlisupreme intro - wired and properly brutal. It's starting to sound hungry. More dischords, and no, it's not turning out to be the song that saved the world, but maybe this band have some guts and grit in there somewhere. This chick's barking disordered lyrics and lyrical orders and musing about poetry and robots and feelings and Yoko Ono. Cue predictable crowd response - "Yoko Ono's a cunt!" Original. Undeterred, they cover a Yoko song. It's twee as hell and about as vital as the Frog Chorus, but there's something defiant in their belief in it. They got guts, at least.
What's that? There ARE some real vocalists left out there? Shit, yeah. From the moment Le Tigre's Kathleen Hanna opens her trap, the quality level leaps about 4 notches in the right direction. This is what we needed in the first place. The bizarre, helium-abused fruit of Hanna's throat could shatter glass at 1000 paces - this is why the Astoria serve their overpriced drinks in plastic cups. No guitar wankery - where the guitars get a look in, they're serrated, rusty, and tetanus-loaded, ripping through everything in their paths, held at bay merely by sparse, squelchy, move-ya-big-ass-round beats that command all the movement in this sizeable void. One big fat uncompromising rhythm lays down the law from the get-go, and doesn't stop to ponder its place in the world or the artistic merit of what it's doing. What we're talking about here is conviction, and Le Tigre have it in spades. Forget shame at the unfashionable stigma of feminism - "Fifty years of ridicule!", Hanna and her cohorts scream in 'F.Y.R', meeting a room full of pumped fists and roared responses. And for an hour it really seems that simple, that clear-cut. It's not about sounding angular for the fucking sake of it and putting on a po-faced show of arty seriousness while rehashing hooks that Sonic Youth threw to the wolves years ago; it's about one big digital suckerpunch - it's about reaching an audience, about eliciting an instant reaction, about mixing anger and frustration with the kind of pop suss that leaves absolutely no excuse for not paying attention and taking something from it. Le Tigre are at once pop heroes and missionaries for their cause.
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