AnteAter, iDresden

Benjamin Short 05/02/2007

A rundown house in Fallowfield (a.k.a. Studentsville South Manchester) is perhaps not where you'd most expect to encounter a minor indie superstar. Yet in the aftermath of a last minute venue cancellation, this is the place where Forward, Russia ! frontman Tom is set to unleash his solo project, AnteAter. “Hello! Welcome to my bedroom…” growls iDresden singer and guitarist Cal Wright, in a moment terribly reminiscent of 'This Is Spinal Tap'. Instantly, he leads his rhythm section into battle. OK, so melody is AWOL and you can't hear the vocals, but all that is irrelevant when you're confronted by music of such terrifying visceral force. A mere 40 eyewitnesses are in attendance at this, the rebirth of grunge.

Someone turns out the lights. Tension spirals out of control. Shouts of “Twelve” and “Nine” resound around the crowd, but tonight number crunching punk-funk is off limits. Instead, Tom is relentlessly hell-bent on pursuing his alarming new direction. Armed with a laptop, a synthesiser, a Kaos pad, and an array of other techno-toys, he creates mind warping noises which oscillate from ambient to drum 'n' bass. No guitars, no vocals, no bullshit. His latest sounds are stubbornly experimental (with the emphasis on “mental”). It's enough to bring tears to the eyes of the NME disciples. Nevertheless, this D.I.Y. all back to mine extravaganza is a once in a lifetime experience.