Word: Keira Trethowan | Images: Craig Taylor- Broad Photography
It’s the first Friday night of the month and you have three choices:
- Curl up on the sofa with snacks, and expand your waistline whilst watching a DVD that you’ve probably seen a thousand times already.
- Lurk within the depths of Facebook, and re-emerge three hours later wondering how on earth you’ve ended up looking at your ex-best-friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s holiday snaps from 2012.
- Head to Mustard & Rye’s monthly metal night and head-bang until your neck contorts.
The answer is simple: you attend metal night and bathe in a concoction of sweat and live music, commending the universe for gifting us with such a dazzling local music scene. If, however, that wasn’t your initial choice, then have a word with yourself, you’re seriously missing out!
Opening September’s highly anticipated night were stoner rock group O’Deus, and from the get-go it was incontestable about which band member stole the show. Their frontman may be a dead ringer for Marilyn Manson – albeit without a persona dripping in drug-abuse – but that didn’t stop him from shaking his snake hips, forming a distinct persona of metrosexual meets metal God. This led to a performance that was borderline impossible to look away from, regardless of the somewhat repetitive qualities that teemed the group’s resonance. The remainder of the band, although stood in their frontman’s shadow, were also poised with a metal quality that was admirable in energy and spirit. With a tweak of experimentation and tempo changes O’Deus could be something quite spectacular.
Next up were a group who were the very antithesis of their band name. A New Hope – although immeasurably talented musically – stole their sound straight from the metal handbook and added every cliché physically possible in a way that led to the evolution of a migraine. Instrumentally, the band possessed the skills and recipe to create something remarkable, but it was the unnatural bellowing vocals that ceased this from becoming reality. With said vocals ranging from angry crow stuck in a chimney to old man repeatedly clearing his throat the shouts were poised with no area of emotion or sentiment. That said however, there was no questioning the group’s lively stage-demeanour and this only frustrated me more. A New Hope could and should be something worthwhile, but they’re not quite there yet. Watch this space.
Changing the tone and headlining however, were a group bore of something both enigmatic and enthralling. The Bad Channels have been out of the limelight for almost four years now, but that’s never stopped the hushed whispers of their name echoing throughout the air whenever the topic of Cornish metal is mentioned. Two songs into their reunion set, and I could see why.
With concentrated, yet exultantly ardent faces, the foursome performed with a gracious energy that was alluring and kinetically vibrant. It was evident that they felt nothing but positivity and adoration towards their musical endeavours, and the enthusiastic audience only heightened their seductive and destructive dynamism. “At last” I thought to myself as they stepped back into music scene claiming their rightful place near the top of the metal league.
A lot of local bands claim to be inspired by the group, and I can see why. The word “iconic” is thrown around far too frivolously these days, but The Bad Channels’ sound and demeanour both warrant such a term, and I feel nothing but reassurance at having witnessed the group perform until they were soaked in blood, sweat and passion. That is what live music is all about, and their set should have been both a wake-up-call and an inspiration for other metal groups lurking behind them.
August’s metal night is still revered as something unassailable to me, and Kernuyck will always sit poignantly at the top of my metal podium. But September’s event was equally as historic in its own right, and if you missed out then shame on you!