Bandas com Wulf no nome
Kylesa + Lazer/Wulf. Hard Club, Porto, June 22nd 2014
I have to start this review by stating that I only went to see Kylesa for old times’ sake, having heard absolutely nothing they’ve released after 2006’s excellent Time Will Fuse Its Worth, back then when I used to think The Mars Volta was the best band on Earth and spent too much time - that I will never ever ever ever get back - listening to Tool records.
The setlist was centered around their latest three records - their last concert in Portugal was two years ago, before they released their latest album, 2013’s Ultraviolet - and, unfortunately, ”Hollow Severer” was the only throwback to those good ol’ times and, by far, the highlight of the concert for me. Phillip Cope’s shouts sound cruder than ever and the band proved to be much more effective when the male vocals prevailed - when treading softer ground with Laura Pleasant’s pleasant but mellower voice, Kylesa sounded more like a neutered cat than the sabertooth tiger we all know they can be.
Black Phoenix Is My Life
There was a time when I was the only guy in the village who listened to music religiously - others simply basked in whatever trance tune was popular -, a time made of riffing and bursts of noise, a time where rock n’ roll could and would elevate me to the highest spheres. When they’re young people will believe anything, right?
At the time, when surfing the web, anonymous boards or discussion forums, almost no one seemed to share my affinity for Crippled Black Phoenix’s A Love Of Shared Disasters, which, if I recall correctly, I discovered through a 4chan music thread. Thanks, 4chan! Today, they seem to have a pretty large fanbase, worldwide and in Portugal - and they’ll even be playing Reverence Festival, 30km away from my house, in september.
Even to someone who tries to stay the hell away from post-rock and post-metal nowadays due to the massive amount of boring bullshit the genre has been plagued with, I couldn’t help but listen to their newest record, White Light Generator. ‘Twas a good decision, because this is a great album: long instrumental passages intertwined with vocals but without ever sounding cliché, the whole quiet/loud dichotomies, and great guitar work which comes the closest to metal they’re ever done - they’re sounding like Agalloch in some songs, which is awesome, because Agalloch is an amazing band as well.
After the sweet and tender moment of “Sweeter Than You”, a poppy little tune done on guitar, we’re blessed with the rock power of “No! (Pt 1)”, what seems to be like a nifty protest song and arguably one of the best moments in here - because it captivates you immediately, because after listening to this you want to hear the rest of the record instead of pausing or stopping and throwing it away like fucking Warpaint, before Part 2 tones it down a notch and concerns itself more with that kind of post-rock ambience I was talking about before - but not sounding boring at all, just some sort of quiet before the storm.
We’re then served the delicious stoner-like riffs of “Let’s Have An Apocalypse Now!”, a song clearly tailored for headbanging and chanting along (oh, if only someone used this during the World Cup…), the bombastic title-track, the amazing “Northern Comfort” and it all ends with the softier moments of “We Remember You” and “A Brighter Tomorrow”. Post-rock is dead? Not in a million years.
Space is only noise
Not noise per se, but an amazing combination of song and dance and trance and cosmic feeling. The Arkestra came to Portugal for a couple of gigs, the second of which #TeamBolachas had the chance to experience in a nice club near the Lisbon harbor, watching the river come and go and paying 2,5€ for a small bottle of water.
But money is of no importance when discussing the Arkestra, the amazing band of musicians who are currently celebrating their mentor, Sun Ra, the alien who fell to earth in the fifties and left behind some of the best music this planet - and the whole universe, mind you - has ever heard. Over more than an hour and a half they presented us with jazz in its purest form: free, wild, joyful, mouth-opening. People headbanging, dancing, singing along sometimes, waving hips and arms and tongues. Music for music lovers. Close your eyes and travel the spaceways…
Fronting the band was the incredible Marshall Allen, playing the alto saxophone and giving orders around so no sound would be lost; this is not improvisation music, but music from the mind and soul, perfect and untainted; this is “Rocket Number Nine” taking us all to Venus and leaving us wondering if Sun Ra, or the atoms which were one his, are still floating around and listening, controlling, all of this.
The Arkestra is still one of the most amazing live experiences one can see. Just ask the elderly couple giving it their all at the front. Ask the dudes wearing Sun Ra t-shirts and looking for some hash (you don’t need drugs to be fun, though). Ask the Filho Único fellows, who organized the gig and when it all ended were standing with huge smiles on their faces. Ask Kndel Scott, also on alto saxophone, who afterwards was seen selling homemade CDs so he could pay his trip back to England (maybe a different England thousands of light-years away). Ask everyone who came in touch with them when at the end, during “We Travel The Spaceways”, they ran through the crowd, still playing at an amazing intensity. Ask God himself. Maybe he can answer. But remember than God is music.
Text by PAC
Pics by AR
Such a wonderful concert by Will Stratton last night. In the name of everyone who was there, thank you so much Will.