Another random Thursday night in Cardiff, and the people who know good bands turn out for a feast of contrariness put on by the crazy underground cats at Kruger Magazine.
Leicester’s Redcarsgofaster are like Idlewild fronted by a Mark E Smith impersonator armed with a box of deadly detonations. Current darlings of fanzines the UK over, their riotous 24 Passes features on the recent Popcult compilation that took the honour of being Lamacq’s mid-January album of the week, and tonight it’s like they’re celebrating with the armoury of the Royal Navy.
Firing guitars to the stars in melodic complicity, this is the sound of urban dreaming with a gleaming cutting edge, the streets coming alive in shards of immaculate white noise. Guitarists David and Matt, drummer Phil and bassist Andy layer their abrasive instrumentals to scintillating effect, assaulting the crowd with raucous charm, and when Matt hands his guitar to a young blond to shyly enhance the feedback at the end of the gig, it’s an undeniable piece of smouldering cool.
Cool of course takes many forms, and Seal Cub Clubbing Club are an alternately infuriating and sublime example. The five lads that comprise the band wouldn’t have it in them to waft a fly away from their noses, let alone pursue large mammals across the ice with bats, and, taking the stage with the quintessential shyness of the really-quite-clever, they begin their set with a bellow to answer Redcars before purveying a wide-range of ambiguous sonic angles.
At their worst the Seal Cub leave you baying for the kind of pop melody that you hope young Jarvis clone Nik Glover will eventually inherit, but at their best they’ve an embryonic sound to behold. Glover reaches and strives as mightily he can with his high-strung vocals as his band plough furrows of post-rock bliss, and when both aspects of the sound truly merge it’s like Sigur Ros filtered through glitterball glory.
Redcarsgofaster and Seal Cub Clubbing Club are undoubtedly two bands on the rise, a sheer passion for alternative and outlandish sounds making for a Thursday night to remember.