Earthtone9 / Cynical Smile / Chasm

Derby Vic

March 7 1999

Ooh, I'm kind of still celebrating that Welsh victory yesterday. It was awesome though wasn't it. Ooh yeah. The flag is resting on the sofa with pride now instead of the shamed face it had after the Ireland and Scotland matches.

And talking about pride, (don't you just love the way these things link together!), anyone who was at this gig could be filled with it about the quality of the three UK bands on offer tonight.

First are local band Chasm. It's the third time now that I've seen them play, and it seems like they're getting better each time. There's a meaty core to their sound, but they also have a grasp on breaking things up and adding a sense of melody and dynamics. Personally I think the one thing still missing is a bit of control on the screamed vocals, where there's a tendancy for the voice to crack a bit. But that's only because it strikes me that when people look for something, it has to be perceived as "perfect". Which it doesn't. In a way it's simply a reflection of the effort and energy that's being exerted into songs such as 54, Cold or Almost There. Definitely a future here, and I know that Earthtone9 at the very least were well impressed and are planning a possible drumming change :)

Oooh Dave, that's how rumours start. It's also just a joke that was being shared.

Over the last few weeks I've seen Cynical Smile three times now, and I feel like I'm growing back into them. It's all begining to make sense again, and the new material, Protection, Clone The Clowns, is sitting nicely alongside album tracks such as The Circle and Feeling Retarded. There's also a fair amount of activity going on down the front from the more than respectable crowd that has turned out this evening. And when Vocalist Ed finishes the gig again on his 'ead, the applause that rings round says that maybe they can claim back the ground I thought they'd lost.

Earthtone9 on the other hand are begining to turn into a horse at full gallop as they eat up the ground. Allbeit a horse with 10 legs. Opener Grind & Click is also looking like it'll be the opener on the new album. It shows the band picking up from where they left off on the debut, but taking it a bit further to the extent that instead of trying to look for who to compare them with now, it's time to just say, well they sound like Earthtone9. Yep, that's how it's getting.And you know what, just to indicate how things are going, there's not even a need for the infamous "come down the front please" cry so often heard at gigs such as this. People are already there, and a nice bit of activity occurs for the next 35 minutes or so, including some attempts at crowd surfing. Withered, as expected sees the biggest reception, and Karl in particular looks like he's going for it big time, hanging from the rafters. At one point I thought he was going to put his hands through the ceiling, and join that illustrious club that have wrecked the roof in the Vic. In fact, although it's the smallest stage I've seen them on, the whole band are going for it more than I think I've seen. Like I said, they're on a roll. And hopefully when the new album is released towards the end of July, that roll will become, well, a bigger roll! Sheesh, I mean, they've even got people making out to their songs.

But seriously, there's a point sometimes when you see a band a number of times that the magic can wear off or you get a bit bored. That's not happening here. If anything, I'm begining to understand the songs more. There's something I can't put me finger on. Maybe it's just quality.

And, the interview will appear in issue 11 of Yaz. Yep, #10 ain't even finished, though it's getting there, trust me, and #11 is already being planned. Bringing you the real meaning behind the bands name, words about the new album, and quite possibly other things, and maybe even a picture of the endearing manner in which Karl lifts drummer Simon by the neck. If the picture comes out.

So there you go. Proof again, if you needed it, that the UK scene is in very safe hands indeed. Well, as long as he doesn't drop him or snap his neck!