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Maybeshewill - Stereo, Glasgow - December 6 2014 (Live Review)

Monday, 05 January 2015 Written by Jonathan Rimmer

Since coming to the fore in the ‘90s, post-rock has evolved. Previously regarded as a niche concern for the more “pretentious” music followers, instrumental bands are now very much in vogue. This show, put on by Glasgow-based company Cut Loose, attracts a younger audience, one that eventually packs Stereo out for a six band bill.

Though they hail from the same city as the mighty Mogwai, Dialects are more inclined towards heavier styles. The motifs used are simple, but the band have a powerful sound, mixing heavier sections with occasional math rock exposition. Vasa, meanwhile, are more elaborate, with colourful guitar parts that recall And So I Watch You From Afar or even Three Trapped Tigers.

What is most striking about the whole line-up, though, is the apparent camaraderie in sound between international acts. Mutiny on the Bounty have come over from Luxembourg, and yet their conceptual approach is similar to the British bands on the bill. Their sound is strongly built on electronic loops, switching to crunching metal guitars for effect.

This unflinching approach is reflected in every one of tonight's bands’ output, with French troupe Jean Jean perhaps the most impressive of all, fusing melodic keys and synths with unorthodox rhythmic patterns. The attitude is refreshing, especially in a genre that is often criticised for meandering and being too heavily built on slow song structures.

Six man Flood of Red aren't even an instrumental band, technically, utilising Jordan Spiers' emotive vocals to bolster an already intense sound. Their choruses lack a certain resonance, though, considering how earnest and passionate they are.

Maybeshewill are the catchiest band here, perhaps by way of contrast. Co-Conspirators and Red Paper Lanterns have awe-inspiring hooks, building through waves of arpeggios and changes in pace. Funnily enough, the cuts from their latest album 'Fair Youth' are perhaps their least inspired, heading down a generic route that they originally did so well to avoid.

Regardless, the band enrapture the Glasgow crowd with a terrific encore of He Films the Clouds and Not For Want of Trying, two songs that exemplify everything that is progressive about today's instrumental scene. Judging by the enthusiastic reception that greeted such a mammoth show, this explosion in artistic creativity is starting to gain the attention it deserves.


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