God Mother

support Shocking White
author AP date 19/08/17 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

With the Dillinger Escape Plan set to be laid to rest by the end of this year, the band’s guitarist Ben Weinman has publicly earmarked God Mother as their heir apparent — a stamp of approval worth its weight in gold for an aspiring hardcore band, and our cue to haul our arses down to Underwerket to discover what reasons lie behind Weinman’s endorsement. Despite a slow pre-sale, we are joined by a decent batch of early adopters from both Denmark and Sweden, all eager to find out whether we might have the next Dillinger’ on our hands. Before then, however, there is as always the matter of the support act…

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest

Shocking White

The Århusian noise/post-punk trio has been around for almost a decade now and churned out no less than four studio albums plus an EP during that time, yet somehow they have managed to evade my gaze completely. Once the opening tracks, “Neon Light Advice” and “Into the Sun” have kicked their support set into gear, however, it becomes easy to understand why the band remains such an underground phenomenon. The music makes for tough loving; with the volume cranked up high, guitarist/vocalist Jan Petersen gives his pedals some serious wear in discharges to which it is nigh impossible to ascribe the word inviting and finishes them off with the sort of deliberately abrasive singing that is a staple of the post-punk genre. There is solace to be found in the likes of “Wasted” and “Bleak Vision”, both of which adopt a more melancholy, post-rock-ish temperament and end up being all the more memorable for it. The jazzy drumming prowess of Marco Kromann Bøgehøj likewise makes a lasting impact on me, but overall, the lack of both audience and standout moments in the music means that Shocking White’s performance here mostly just dissolves into the warm summer air, tempting no strong feelings for or against the band.

5

God Mother

God Mother is a altogether different creature. Drawing inspiration from the likes of their countrymen in This Gift Is A Curse, the band’s violent breed of hardcore, grindcore and noise is energising per automata. But above all, it is the furore of vocalist Sebastian August Campbell that facilitates the now fuller basement's descent into chaos. To begin with, he plants himself in front of the stage, greeting us amicably yet causing the audience, yours truly included, to take a few, wary steps back — after all, there must be some element of insanity to the band’s performance to have earned such accolades from Weinman. And we are right to do so; as soon as the first blast of cacophonous noise erupts from the PA, Campbell becomes possessed by it, charging across the venue and into the crowd, mounting bar stools, collapsing onto the floor and riding piggy-back on select, bewildered spectators. The man is an absolute menace — a horcrux wound from The Dogs’ vocalist Kristopher Schau, the Dillinger Escape Plan’s ditto, Greg Puciato, and the entire Chariot — yet also full of charisma and with a penchant for making everyone feel welcome. Seldom has such a rampage of a concert seen so many hugs and high-fives as is the case tonight.

Halfway through, Campbell ensures us — with sarcasm — that he is aware that his antics may seem a little dangerous to some of us… which is why he insists that we close the gaping half-circle between us and the stage and show some appreciation for his band, too. Obliging this, we quickly realise that he has taken up a position behind us and what follows is the concept of a live concert turned on its head, with Campbell screaming at our backs, and guitarist Max Lindström, bassist Daniel Noring & drummer Michael Dahlström firing their pummel into our faces. Surround sound, if you like. But there is a deeper reason behind the gimmick: it forces us to unfix our eyes from Campbell’s wild antics and realise that the other musicians are just as intense in their own way, rather than mere props behind a one-man-army. By the time that the short, 30-minute concert winds to its conclusion, however, there is not a man, woman or child left untouched, and as Campbell, on his hands and knees, directs the last shreds of screaming into his floored microphone, one is left with the feeling of having experienced both a proper basement punk show and the beginnings of something very exciting.

8

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