Deafheaven @ Beep Studios (3.05.14)

Never trust Google Maps.

It could lead to you wandering around for an hour in the heat, eventually abandoning all hope in technology. “Where could this place be?”, you’ll wonder. After stopping and thinking for a moment, you’ll remember that you are going to a Deafheaven show, and scan the area for black t-shirts.

Upon arrival at Beep Studios, we could sense the anticipation from the fans waiting around the courtyard; smoking on the steps, arguing over album superiority and gathering around one of the men they were all there to see. George Clarke‘s usual persona was surprisingly absent; out among the people his demeanour was the polar opposite of what we’d expect from the vocalist onstage. Polite, friendly and more than happy to stand for photo after photo with fans, he was signing anything they handed over. I instantly regretted leaving my copy of Sunbather back in Melbourne.

George eventually headed into the venue and the majority of the crowd followed, ready for their first taste of music for the night. Singapore locals Paris in the Making were up first and, with a few words from the band, they began their set. After a massive build up, the progressive hardcore group burst into a barrage of heavy hitting riffs and screams from the band’s frontman. They were tight, however their heavier moments were eclipsed by their “prettier” passages which illustrated the bands intricate instrumentals.

After the set came to a close, the fans scuttled out of the venue for another smoke and some air before the main event. “KittyWu are on a roll,” I heard someone say, and it’s true. In recent months the label/promoters have been doing everything right, bringing in Irish post-rockers And So I Watch You From Afar and Japanese math-rock girls Tricot for successful shows. Tonight was not going to be an exception.

wandered inside as the band was putting together the final touches before what was going to be a phenomenal set. The lights went down as the band (minus George) took to the stage, before bathing them in red. The band broke into ‘Dream House’ as George arrived on stage.  He commanded the stage entrancingly, and had all eyes squarely fixed on him. Part commander, part conductor, he flowed with the music, punched the air and gestured to the audience to creep forward. Once he opened his mouth, letting out a frighteningly high scream, the audience was putty in his hands.

What followed was a phenomenal assault on the senses as the band made their way through the rest of their highly acclaimed sophomore album Sunbather. It was great to see the somewhat timid crowd begin to loosen up, as they sang along to the melody of ‘Irresistible’. The band continued with extreme professionalism and energy, creating the most incredible wall of sound I have ever faced. With the band still playing, George jumped into the crowd and the devoted carried their “master”.

As George screamed the words “I am my father’s son” during ‘The Pecan Tree’, you could both hear the emotion in his voice and see it on his face. The power behind those words gave the whole audience a look inside the man in front of us. His veneer slightly cracked, and I was reminded of the guy I met outside before the show. Just a man, with incredible talent.

The room was still charged with energy when the band put down their instruments and waved thankfully to the crowd. It wasn’t the loudest cry for an encore I have ever heard, but you could tell the fans wanted more. After a quick “piss break” (in a beer can, apparently), the band returned to treat the dedicated fans to their 10-minute epic ‘Unrequited’, from their debut album Roads to Judah.

As the show came to an end, fans rushed to congratulate the band as they walked through the crowd to their dressing room. Deafheaven tore away all expectations, and hearing Sunbather in it’s entirety had left us drenched in the best way possible.

By Ale Launech

tricot @ Home Club (14.03.14)

tricot is a curious case. From the land of crazy fads and music (kawaii metal, anyone?), Japan has once again brought something out of the nary; a surprisingly punishing math-rock band formed by three girls in their mid-twenties and a lone dude.

tricot, fronted by the affable Ikkyu Nakajima (vocals, guitars), kicked off into hard-riffing numbers at Home Club with songs which were melodic, yet had a certain sense of frenetic, unbridled energy to it. This had obvious showing in the crowd, who responded unfalteringly with fervent cheering and applause every time a song went out.

Before that, local experimental/post-rock outfit 7nightsatsea opened for tricot, and performed to a largely stagnant crowd with songs from their new EP. Still fresh off their release of their debut Drift Easy, Heavy Hands EP last year, the band thrilled audiences with numbers such as soft-brimming track ‘Heralds’ and progressive track ‘Quiver (In Turmoil)’. The band was ethereal in their own right, building highly textured layers of guitars over rumbling beats.

tricot rocked hard, and sung mostly in their native Japanese tongue. The band was amiable towards the crowd, and divulged halfway that they’d “had pizza at Riverside Plaza” and “visited Marina Bay Sands” earlier that afternoon. Tricot was a furious amalgamation of styles; jazz, punk, rock, indie and even had an interesting post-rock complex to their music. Performing songs off their latest release, T.H.E, the band showcased complex rhythms and timings in songs such as ‘おもてなし, おちゃんせんすぅす’ and ‘99.974℃’. There was an interesting reminiscent to math-rock bands such as Don Caballero, Fall of Troy, Minus the Bear, and even Foals, who were seen performing here earlier this month.

The girls charmed throughly with their music, as well as with their adorable personality. The band would engage with the audience after every song, using their smattering of English to interact with the crowd. They were surprisingly down-to-earth, and took time to read notes thrown from the crowd and replying to random Japanese words called out. Vocalist Ikkyu took things up a notch when she got the crowd singing Happy Birthday to lead guitarist Motoko Kida. After that, the band kicked into the encore performance of their last song.

tricot’s music was purely transcendental, and it didn’t take a grasp of the Japanese language to understand where these girls (and guy) were coming from. tricot was the epitome of the age-old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”; if three surburban-looking Japanese girls could rock harder than any seasoned rocker — and give a wildly entertaining show to boot — then so could you.

By Evan Woon

View the full photo gallery here.

Japanese post-rock band tricot to perform in Singapore

Singapore-based record label/concert promoter KittyWu has announced that Japanese alternative rock band tricot will be performing at Home Club on 14 March.

The band consists of its 3 female founding members, Ikkyu Nakajima (vocals/guitar), Motoko “Motifour” Kida (guitar/backing vocals), and Hiromi “hirohiro” Sagane (bass/backing vocals); soon after its formation, the current drummer and only male band member Kazutaka Komaki joined in May 2011.

Known for championing post-rock in Singapore and following the recent announcement of an And So I Watch You From Afar show, KittyWu has presented bands such as Envy, Toe, Mono, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, as well as I Am David Sparkle and Amateur Takes Control, who are both are part of the label’s artist management roster.

tricot’s experimental music fits perfectly within the label’s specialized roster, consisting of melodic post-rock-inspired sounds and complex rhythm reminiscent of math rock with perfectly mixed elements of pure, fragile, but strong vocals and unpredictable song transitions.

And yep, you can be guaranteed their live show is just as intense as their description:

[youtube width=”450″ height=”340″][/youtube]

[spacer height=”10px”]tricot (local support TBA)
Home Club
Friday, 14 March 2014
$20 at the door

Limited advance tickets may also be purchased online here.

By Cindy Tan