Sunday, 9 March 2014

Live Review : Mother Corona, Abrahma, Enos, Santiagos, Leeds, UK, 4/3/2014

Live Review :

Well this certainly isn’t Sky Valley, California that’s for sure.  There is no desert in sight, this is Leeds, England on a cold Tuesday evening, however Mother Corona are borne from the same cloth as Desert Rock legends, Kyuss and they were second on a bill of four tonight.  Following on from Skandal, who I missed due to my late attendance (sorry guys), you could be forgiven for thinking it was the legendary band up there, busting out their fuzz ridden gems to a captive audience.

Tonight, Oxford 3 piece Mother Corona are every bit as dynamic and grand as those legends before them, full of groove and bounce, they are quite simply brilliant.  Drummer/vocalist David Oglesby has a vocal style reminiscent to John Garcia, (when is that ever a bad thing), but he never comes across as derivative, his performance oozes with swagger, he and certainly the band are a class proposition.  

You can’t fail to be impressed with the bass heavy tone of the guitars, riffs sound warm and dirty.  Mother Corona produced a tight and mesmerising performance and have songs of impeccable quality, the tone of their music causing this tiny room to shudder, with the gargantuan amounts of crush they delivered.  I found myself nonchalantly and somewhat hypnotically nodding along.  Top quality stuff and to put it mildly, if Josh Homme was still writing songs of this quality, more people would actually give a shit.  With a new album out in the spring, the future is looking damn rosy for this Oxford 3 piece.  Superb stuff indeed. 

Being signed to renowned label, Small Stone Recordings is no mean feat, indeed when you think of quality psych, stoner, fuzz rock., they are the 15 year old single malt.  Having released their debut full length, Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives, the band formerly known as Alcohsonic produced one of the records of the year in 2012, hell I was gushing about it myself.  Kicking things off, like a proverbially acid trip, Abrahma were on top of their game from the outset, with front man Seb Bismuth the orchestrator.   

Musically there is an abundance of layering to their sound, added to the grunge infusion of the riffs.  The band themselves are tight and powerful, coming across with a rawness live that is perhaps tempered somewhat on record.  Neptune of Sorrow is incredible; indeed there is a sensibility to the vocals reminiscent of Jeff Buckley particularly on tracks which rely on mood rather than riffs.  The multitude of effects adds a degree of ambience and space, the wave of sound enveloping the small audience, altering your state of consciousness and creating an almost hypnotic or hallucinogenic atmosphere, like a religious transcendence.  The highlight of their set indeed of the evening, is their brilliant rendition of classic Soundgarden track, Searching with My Good Eye Closed, they rip through it with aplomb, taking the original blueprint and making it their own.  Based on this performance and the quality of their music, Abrahma should be huge.  With a new record in the works and more touring, this Parisian four piece are on the cusp of greatness. 

I have been a fan of ENOS’ blend of intergalactic sci-fi based Psych Stoner Rock for the last few years now and they impressed the hell out of me with their last record, All Too Human, which I still listen to on a regular basis.  With recent tours with Abrahma label mates Mangoo, as well as Rescue Rangers, these guys have been well travelled road warriors over the last 12 months.  Tonight, ENOS translated their massive sound brilliantly well to the live arena, and with Mother Corona and Abrahma impressing the crowd in attendance, they had a difficult act to follow.

ENOS did not disappoint and got straight down to business with a blistering 45 minute set showcasing songs from their superb back catalogue. I was blown away by their performance.  ENOS were on fire throughout with epic riffs being played to an appreciative audience.  Lead singer/guitarist Chris; put his heart and soul into this performance with the ENOS brotherhood putting in a great performance, especially Sparky Rogers on the drums. Sure there may have been a few technical issues, but that didn't stop ENOS putting in a mesmerizing performance from start to finish.

ENOS did treat the audience to some new material and it sounds as good as their earlier stuff. I can't wait to hear this new material on their next full album as ENOS have tons of great ideas waiting to be fully explored.  Tonight, they proved they are one of the best UK Stoner Rock bands on the scene. If you get the chance to see them, do so, because this band of intergalactic riff-lords are an excellent live act, with great tunes to back-up their undeniable talent.

Words by : Aaron Pickford (Mother Corona, Abrahma) & Steve Howe (Enos)