Laymar - Live At Club FictionNonFiction
Liam McGrady 22/08/2006
Live recordings are notoriously variable in quality. Most critically acclaimed live albums such as Thin Lizzy's 'Live & Dangerous' or Neil Young's 'Rust Never Sleeps', have been subject to studio overdubs and bum notes being fixed in order to make them more palatable for the audience - I mean no one wants to hear slightly off key singing or bodged chord changes right? So for a new band to use a live set as their demo CD strikes of either supreme confidence or a little naivety. Well maybe “naïve” is a bit over the top, as it seems that Laymar are on something of a hiatus until their drummer is available to record a proper demo. But I can only call it as I hear it, so here goes.
The first three minutes or so of 'Swords' are a gloom-fest of mumbled, underwater voices and minimal piano/drum machine backing, finally breaking into real, proper live drums, which unfortunately range from metallic and ear splitting to dull and one dimensional. Stretching over a massive twelve minutes, there just aren't enough ideas here to keep the listener interested; and it does come across as slightly self satisfying on the band's part. And to be brutally honest the droning feedback and what sound suspiciously like bongos of '20..96' is a life-sapping plod too.
Much better is the moody, Dub/Massive Attack-esque 'Juvenile Whole Life', complete with trippy beats and even some spirited guitar work. Despite the fact that there does seem to be some potential lying deep in Laymar's experimental sound, getting through to the other end of this demo without a frown forming feels like an achievement; and that's really not a good thing.