Love Ends Disaster!, Sennen, Actionforce
Miss Fliss 03/04/2009
Actionforce are confusing at best. Are they cutesy indiepop? Are they experimental? Are these pop songs or meandering workouts jammed with a messy, random pick of synth sounds? Opening up proceedings, they were very much the underdogs of the night. I felt like we were being transported to mid 90s alternative radio land and bright pink, self-released seven inches, but - like some sucrose overdose - not in a good way. Effortsome energy and cracking drummer though.
Sennen transpired to deliver jangly, bright indie jewels during their peaks, rather than out and out self-indulgent shoegaze.
Love Ends Disaster! were my draw for being here. They've changed in the interim of four years since I last saw them. Instead of riveted to the spot, fixed in position of awe at their kinetic excitement, I'm mildly moved - or the other side of the coin: underwhelmed. I think it's the bad tang in the air called compromise. Whilst the juts and jars of sounds refusing to be tamed and the eschewing of standard song form still roam rampantly free, there's also the sense that acceptance is being strived for - have they modified in order to lassoo in some kind of kudos, starkly fit in with contemporaries? It all feels devoid of what made them so starkly stand out and be in with a chance of making a mark back in 2005.
There's a song called Pig Tails that shouts about in a vaguely Shoreditch trendy band way, and it makes my heart sink. The singer clearly wants to be a name frontman with his skyward doe-eyes desperately attempting to tease girls (if you squint, it's Johnny Borrell). They've lost the B-movie/otherworldly air their music once had. They don't play their best song Gingko Disco, which would have had the rafters, that the singer tentatively reaches at, shaking. All of this feels wrong. They sound straight up math rock - all sorts of Hundred Reasons type angles are being sharpened and bludgeoned but in dull endless lines leading nowhere.
LED really only hit their stride in the gig's climax when their sound beefs up and suddenly they fill the room and only they exist. The final two songs are underpinned with the most forecful drum and bass combinations that judder the band into vivifying glory at last. Suddenly, it's brilliant British Sea Power tinged vocals, songs about mass murderer Russian emperor chess players, a singer taking to chaotically bashing the heck out of the only drums not in use, and a rubber pigeon is being shaken into a microphone. Now, that's more like it.