With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

I AM GIANT, Captain Horizon, Twisted Species, Third Angle Projection @Roadhouse Birmingham 12/9/12

When you are three-piece and your singer has blonde hair and you write songs that would – in 1993 – have had the word “grunge” attached to them, you probably are inviting comparisons to Nirvana.  It happens with the likes of Zico Chain and it is probably something that Third Angle Projection are going to have to deal with as they move forward in their careers. There is, though, enough potential in songs like current single “Useless” to think the band could rise above all that.

The bass player might be wearing a Pennywise t-shirt but everything about Telford’s Twisted Species is straight ahead hard rock rather than punk. Not that there is anything wrong with that, though, and there is nothing wrong with the four-piece. “Hold Me Down” and “Here I Stand” are straight out of the US-Radio play handbook. The band’s thinking is probably best shown in their choice of cover, Black Stone Cherry’s “White Trash Millionaire,” they only get to play 25 minutes but last track “Slip Away” is a highlight.

Captain Horizon, as RTM has said before, are pound for pound, perhaps the best unsigned band in Brum. Certainly live shows such as this seem to be getting better and better for the boys.

Best described, if you will, as a type of alt-rock Pink Floyd, they have taken to weaving giant songs full of hooks and choruses to tempt us all. Previous single “Angels and Vampires” was a giant leap forward and is played here along with “Here I Stand.” All of which bodes well for the release of their new album “The Lights Of Distorted Science” which is out in December.

Although based in London, three quarters of I Am Giant are from New Zealand, where by all accounts, they are more popular than the Rugby Union. Their album “The Horrifying Truth” has gone gold in their homeland and they are fresh from supporting Slash in Australia.

Now it seems they are ready for a crack at the UK, “….Truth” is coming out in October and this is the first night of a fairly extensive tour. There is a fairly sparse turnout in truth. But if IAG are upset they don’t show it – at least outwardly.

On record the sound perhaps a late 90s one – think Feeder circa “Polythene,” you know, before they went awful – but live things are taken up a notch, with opener “Purple Heart” setting the tone and being much heavier in the live arena. So much so they are almost Muse-like in approach.

Their 45 minute set sticks pretty steadfastly to the album for songs, but “Living The Crash” benefits from soaring vocals for Ed Martin (the only Englishman in  the band). Closing with the two tracks that made them household names down under “Neon Sunrise” and the number one track “City Limits” there is no encore – indeed drummer Shelton Wellright is dismantling his kit before the last chords are played.

I Am Giant make songs with bigger venues than this in mind. It will be interesting to see if they play them in the UK, but this was a promising start.

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