Where do you start with Evil Blizzard? Well, perhaps the bass. It’s certainty one of the more prolific elements of tonight’s show. Multiple basses, played by multiple bassists. Four of them for the most part, although we do creep up to five for the last couple of songs. Just to ensure they’ve got all of that low-end covered.
Or you could begin with the visuals. All members are in masks, so from stage right to stage left we have: Divine dressed as a post gym WAG. Brian May in head-to-toe leather peering at you through a rain soaked window. A guy either getting ready to clear his drive in the depth of a Swedish winter or embark on a murderous rampage. And last, Richard Nixon heading off on safari. Then, at the back on the drums, you’ve got Emperor Palpatine going to a fancy dress party as George Dawes. It’s sort of funny. But sort of horrifically disturbing at the same time.
Or we could mention the pig. Or the baby head theremin. Or we could go with the way it all sounds. About which the most remarkable thing is the fact that, despite the lack of different instrumentation, it is in no way one-dimensional.
Ok, there’s the odd blast of keyboard or electronics but it’s mainly just drums and bass. Basses. Although they certainty lean on the accepted boundaries of what you should be doing with four strings. There are actual melodies, there are people using slides, there are solos (and not of the Level 42, slapped variety) and there are all-out flaying attacks which all come together to make something with which sounds surprisingly varied.
Songs evolve. Beginning in sludgy, knuckle-dragging, neolithic territory before clambering upright, discovering the wheel and then setting fire to themselves in some kind of gloomy, ritualistic, head-banging suicide pact. All the time the vocals are pitched somewhere between the disembodied eerie despair of PiL-era John Lydon coupled to some distinctly Ozzy-esque phrasing.
At the start, there is also something confrontational about it. But by the end it’s more joyous than that, as Filthydirty (the bassist. Oh wait, sorry, the bassist in the safari suit) rampages through the crowd demanding people play the theremin – the aforementioned one made of a baby’s head – and handing his bass to an unsuspecting member of the crowd, who plays it with an aplomb bordering on suspicious.
That point, the last song Whalebomb, is also the point where the pig turns up. Introduced as their their “long one”, it is a 20-minute spiraling contraption, going from grinding riffs to full on psychedelic wig-outs. It is one hell of a noise.
So. Yeah. Evil Blizzard. Definitely not boring. Quite possibly something wrong with them. Definitely not an experience you’ll forget, even if you wanted to.