Nisennenmondai, Male Bonding, Fighting Kites @ Barden’s Boudoir
Nisennenmondai, Male Bonding, Fighting Kites
Dalston Barden’s Boudoir. 05aug08
Fighting Kites looked utterly beside themselves to be here. “Thanks for letting us play with our favourite band. Oh, and Male Bonding. Our two favourite bands” says the guitarist, spotting a member of the other support act halfway through his sentence. That sums up Fighting Kites’ music really as, despite being in the realm of post-rock and drone, their repetitive calm has chirpiness to it, through their guitar lines and the live-looped hand-claps that pop like fingers inside cheeks. As for the Kites’ apparent second favourite band, well, Male Bonding seem on good form also, albeit working to a much greater intensity. Kevin Hendrix and John Webb are the dual-vocalists locked in a titularly appropriate Kills-esque face-off; their music high-energy, careering artrockn’rumble. At one point a melodica is parped roughly to create the kind of sound usually employed by overnight petrol garages to ward off large groups of teenagers. They operate on a short sharp shock basis, their set lasting all of fifteen minutes before they down tools and sod off, but all the better for not having their potency sapped by banging on in this muscular fashion for too long.
Nisennenmondai appear to be fairly modest, polite types as they prepare their stage, all three seemingly dressed for work in a convent school laundry. They space themselves out on the stage but focus in on each other, or at least bassist Zaikawa Yuri and guitarist Takada Masako do, Himeno Sayaka seeming to be entirely at one with her drum set. Once the three kick in, any attempt to intrude on the stage would be beaten back solely by the intensity of their concentration. Sayaka’s crashes away like a dervish, her hair whirring like a wig riding solo in a washing machine, the drum sound often scampering like a small boy after a playful pigeon. The most relaxed looking player is Yuri, her bass warping like a lava lamp, while Masako’s guitar cycles, cuts and echoes. It is powerful music, but without need for racking up the distortion or applying any extraneous vocalisation (their set being entirely instrumental). Nisennenmondai’s strength comes from danceable car-chase hypnotics, jutting out but rolling fluidly.
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