Chimp Spanner / Uneven Structure / The Algorithm (Live Review)

Live from the Camden Barfly, Feb 6th 2012

The Algorithm - 3/5
Uneven Structure - 3/5
Chimp Spanner - 3.5/5

Its always a little awkward when you arrive to what sounds like techno. If not for the 'basick' logo you might have thought you were in the wrong place, but as it this one man band proceeds you realise "The Algorithm" fits surprisingly well. Forget those recycled beats from the latest techno album, he samples with a ferocity that ive not heard matched, throwing in reggae and 60s classics like they were normal. When you get over the fact that its a man with a laptop you realise he aint half bad.

As for Uneven Structure, I caught the end of their set on a previous occasion and decided I should see them in full; another mathcore band basick found (seriously, want to follow british mathcore? Just buy anything this label puts out. Its getting silly) ready to rise to prominence. Like ion dissonance and veil of maya, they use deathcore influences with that 'ambient/post-rock' twist this land likes, myself included. But given that this is deathcore, and that it took me 20mins to figure out what half of the four guitarist line up were doing - its subtle but they arent just for show - it all sounds like something I should hate, so its a bit strange that I don't. Theres something about them thats different; to see them play is to join a brotherhood whose only criteria is that you dont mind the music. The scene kid puts his hands in his pockets and shuffles like they always do, next to the blonde woman dancing the night away. Even the mosh pit is bizarre, far from those HxC dancers who watch too many Jackie Chan flicks, as the music breaks you're more likely to be greeted with a loving embrace than a push and a punch. Strangers form lines a dozen strong to headbang in unison and the guitarists are barely able to keep playing for the grin on their faces. Either there's something else in the beer or something in the music, but either way i'm missing something...

And whilst this is the third time i've seen Chimp Spanner perform this is the first time I - or anyone else for that matter - has heard their EP, being released today. Played in its entirety, it certainly sounds promising though i'll leave that for the album review. The basic format remains the same; despite not being talkative (none of the bands were come to think of it) the sheer musicianship is a joy to watch being performed. Ortiz himself taking the centre stage, it is instead the drummer that really caught my eye. Playing with a manic precision complex lines to harmonise with the rest of the music, he's not merely content to leave it at that, rolling the sticks in his fingers and juggling them with every second he has to spare; jumping up and screaming, pointing and displaying an energy the rest of the band fails to match. A treat for fans of well played instruments but a lack of audience interaction keeps them from reaching the upper echelons of showmanship.