Lights In Reverse

support Clean Dust + Luke Stole My Handgun
author TL date 12/06/10 venue Rust, Copenhagen, DEN

This review, like all my reviews these days, is quite overdue, and with the main man of the main band having breathed down my neck for the past few days, pushing me for the promotion he is due, I won't waste much time on an introduction. It's saturday night, I'm at Rust for an installment of the 'Comet Club' arrangement, which I've already described in a few other reviews. Tonight is not one of its best nights, possibly because of the allure of Copenhell, which is also on its second night tonight. Hence the crowd is thinner than usual when the first band takes the stage:

Luke Stole My Handgun

The opening act I come to learn is a replaced for another band that cancelled their appearance on hours prior to the show. Impressively, Luke Stole My Handgun stepped in with such short warning, and even more impressingly, they did so having never played a single show in their career as a band, and they did so while managing to still convince a handful of friends to come and watch them. Those facts alone are credible in their own right, and the same can be said, to some extent at least, about the band's ability and commitment. Compared to a few other young bands I've seen on this stage lately, Luke Stole My Handgun delivers their youthful deathcore onslaught with proficiency... That is after they get to borrow a guitar, because guitarist Chris breaks a string before the first song is even over! Talk about a first performance! Still though, after finding a replacement guitar, things quickly start to sound surprisingly good, with screams that aren't bad and instruments that aren't entirely uninteresting (at least as far as that can be said about this genre. You be the judge of that). Singer Fred and second guitarist Ragnar are looking visibly stressed during this debút of theirs, while Chris and the drummer Max manage to hide any such symptoms behind super scene haircuts and even a crabcore stance thrown in here or there. Most energetic however, is their unnamed odd-man-out bassist (he doesn't figure on their myspace), who (over)confidently dishes out every guitar-hero move he can think of, both on the stage and on the floor, adding great entertainment value for the show. All in all the show has a naive energy that's quite convincing, as is the band's capability at this early stage, but still, it's clear for all that their confidence and experience need to grow quite a bit, before seasoned gig-goers will consider these youngsters more than promising puppy-metal

6

Clean Dust

The next band to appear is Clean Dust, a four-piece which doesn't seem to have an average-age that's much higher than that of LSMH. This however, they make up for in a somewhat more confident appearance, and with a a dedicated following of.. midgets?! Of the friends they've brought along, about nine of ten would barely reach this scribe's shoulders. As I chuckle over this fact, frontman Lucky (that's what it says on their myspace, I am not making it up), also known as 'Mr. Androgynous' leads his band into one song after another, of music that is surprisingly oldschool and bluesy for an ensemble of young dudes who look as different as these do. This could of course turn out very interesting, but the truth is, that while Lucky does make an effort to connect with the audience via a refreshing doze of swagger, the music itself is too loosely and too conventionally put together, and the result is that Clean Dust come off as little more than an early high school project. Also partly because the vocals come out dodgy tonight, even at the best of times, and the oldschool rock sound seems unoriginal rather than retro. I'll give them credit for the confidence, and for seemingly having actually given some thought to the notion of giving the crowd something to remember them by, but given that the actual sonic experience grows stale halfway through the show, I can't award them more than a:

5

Lights In Reverse

Now, after two performances from what I dare call enthusiastic amateurs, it shouldn't be hard for Lights In Reverse to stand apart as a somewhat more mature and ambitious ensemble. Personally, my hopes for the show was for the band to have shown the same improvement live as they did on their recent EP. Unfortunately, LIR don't seem to have had much more luck in drawing a crowd than any of the young bands, as the venue is still very, very far from anything that can be called 'full'. Still though, their show does indeed take the level of quality up seamlessly, as the band seem to perform their material, old and new, with consistent tightness, while making it seem a whole lot easier to do so, than it appeared during the prior two shows. This is a blessing and a curse though, because while I was at least personally hoping to see a show that would be fuller and better received as an effect of the quality of the new EP, that obviously isn't what this is with so few in attendance, and hence LIR also seem to be approaching it very casually, and almost too much so. As with the other two bands, the sound is also not exactly as good as on record, whether the band or Rust's equipment or soundman is to blame I don't know. I'm told afterwards that I positioned myself poorly, not being able to hear the vocals very well for the duration of the show, and hence am not able to comment on whether frontman Jesper's cleans have indeed improved as much as the new songs would suggest. All in all this never really becomes the hoped celebration of LIR's good new material, but it's still a show where you can see that the headliners are somewhat further ahead in their career than the other beginners, and it's certainly still a good - if a somewhat relaxed - experience.

7

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