Many small bands stop off at The Unicorn on national tours. Its perfectly sized stage can accommodate the usual 5 members with plenty of space for movement, while its well above average sound system makes for quality shows. Fully aware that the awesome Church Of Fuck band Trudger were playing I was unsure if I was going to make it due to tiredness, but went along anyway to support one of my current favourite bands.
They pulled in a great sized crowd for a Wednesday night. It seemed like a lot of people there were quite familiar with the material as well as people were nodding along and air guitaring to the particularly technical sections.
And really that’s what Trudger is about. It’s the flitterings of technicality amongst the barrage of brutality that make Trudger’s signature sound so recognisable. They perfectly place hard riffs into sludgy guitar work and end up with really solid, moving compositions. The songs progress and build up really well over their duration, while the vocals hold down that rhythmic death metal vibe. Having the secondary vocals over really heavy bits adds that edge to the sometimes-buried low register growl.
Sound wise these guys are probably the best I’ve heard at The Unicorn. A lot of time had obviously been spent perfecting the guitar tones to provide meaty chords with the ability to switch to precise single string work when the time called. The trance inducing sections of feedback and tribal like tom work from the drummer absolutely transported you away from your spot in the audience, a full body experience indeed.
A heavy contrast from the slower paced Trudger, Power Violence quartet Swinelord had the headlining slot of the evening. Made up of the bassist (now on guitar) and singer plus different bassist and drummer, these guys had quite the presence too them.
I have to say, Power Violence and Crust Punk/ Metal are not something I’m too familiar with. I’m all for noisy metal, but when there is no perceivable beat to follow, it all gets a bit lost on me. They seemed to be tight with each other, but it was the kind of tight that comes from vibing off each other as opposed to say, following the drummer. The people in the audience seemed to love it however and a pretty stoney drunk mosh pit started when they got going.
With so many fast transitions of really fast riffage going into heavy doom inspired drawn out sections, the music could be likened to Grindcore but with emphasis on the punk and hardcore side as opposed to the death metal side. The lack of a tight beat to follow just threw me though, especially as we had just watched a band who’s meticulously planned compositions were on the absolute other end of the scale.
All in all though I had a great time at the show. Swinelord were the perfect marriage of fun chaotic music with awesome presence and attitude while Trudger as polar opposites were serene and thought provoking. Thank for reading Y’all!
Words by: Asher G. Alexander.