Lichtbeuger CD Release gig – Thirsty Dog, May 14th 2016
Maybe it’s age, maybe I’m lazier than I think I am. Who knows? I had a blast, if I’m honest. Something about a small intimate venue, with loud, in-your-face acts playing to an appreciative audience of mostly friends and fans. Add some friendly bar staff delivered booze, and that’s gotta be a recipe for a positive night out!
Words by Mark Wallbank
Haven’t been to a gig for a few months now, so whenever I do it’s always a pleasure. I tend to come out buzzing and on a bit of a high these days. I guess it’s like when you don’t have a drink for a few months; your system cleans up, then you grab an ice cold Corona.You only have a couple, but by the end of the night you’re feeling it. It was kinda like this for me last night.
First up, Pump Iron. One-half of the now classic Cat Guts and The Big Bang Theory. An eclectic two piece of Electro-Punk craziness I fell in love with about a decade ago. Aiden, flying solo but emitting twice the power and sexy aural ooze as his previous project, now delivers a cool continuous journey of dub-jazz-ethno flavoured grooves via touch keypad and laptop. I love this shit. It’s just gotta be the soundtrack to someone out there’s life!
The dips, the highs, the dark and light. It’s all there in a mish-mash musical story form. However, there’s an underlying cool, down beat maturity factor now. Though I’m thinking there’s still possibly that twisted and rebellious stimulant-enhanced spirit leading that crazy psychedelia trip.
Second on the bill is Hog Haul Valentine. I have had an unhealthy addiction to this project since it’s inception circa 2000. Lead by the enigmatic and looming dark lord presence that is local artist and tortured soul, Paul Blanchard.
Deep, brooding and gritty; the music straining and grinding its way like a rusty old tractor pushing through mud.
It’s a mesmerising ‘fuck music’ blend of attitude, personal wordly distaste, cynicism and what could be the shards of broken love songs. There’s a definite chaotic quality to their immense but minimalistic sound. At times, overly dense and unpredictable, evoking a degree of heightened tension. Unnervingly beautiful.
Lichtbeuger, the reason for the event. Releasing their CD-EP, Piezoelectric. Not holding back and smashing the audience square in the face with the first song, Cobalt; a repetitive slamming 4/4 shouted anthem that is powerful enough to knock you off your barstool if you’re not prepared. “The beauty of decay….the decay of beauty!”From there on it
From there on it doesn’t get any easier. The rest of the set leaving no time to pull yourself off the floor or pick up your teeth. An infectious blend of harsh driving industrial beats ranging from minimal Germanic stompers, to full tilt machine gun onslaught, bowel releasing arpeggio synth modulations and distorted vocals delivered in defiant confrontation.
From anti-religion to rotten politics, Lichtbeuger has many voices of protest in their heads. The Song Praise Be, dedicated tonight to Brian Tamaki, alongside the equally angsty statements; Nazi, Drop the Bullet and Welcome To The Dark Ages. My review of these guys doesn’t truly do them justice. Do your ears a favour and see them live to fully get it.
I Hear The Enemy are a recently formed Industrial Rock outfit from Wellington. A three piece of guitars / vocalist, drummer (a guy with headphones and a touch pad, doing it real time), and a synth player going it keyless and hands-free. Using one of the new generation forms of live performance synths. Imagine an Xbox Wii hand sensor set up, combined with a Theremin with stored sounds. Hand controllers and a small glowing globe on top of a tripod. Not as visual or powerful aesthetically as an actual drummer, but a neat and interesting format I’m sure will catch on, till the novelty wears off or the next generation of synth / human interconnectability is invented. A big sound that works really well for just a three piece, with most of the intensity of a bigger and more layered band. Keep an eye on these guys. I reckon they’re up for some serious greatness around the circuit.
All up, a great night out and I’m glad I ventured from the safety of my home to the unpredictability of the K’ Rd Saturday nightlife. Someone, please promise more of these blissful Dark-end music moments, and I’ll promise to go to gigs more.