dBh / Element / Rabies Caste

Nottingham Old Angel

April 7 2000

Ok, so how many times have I been a wanker (don't answer that!) and complained (or that) about lack of review material? More than once gains a point. Yeah, well I'm pleased to say there's a whole pile of stuff at home to go through at the moment, one of which includes the Rabies Caste CD which arrived about a month ago or so. Must admit it just went on to the pile. The name didn't inspire it to interrupt whatever I was doing and jump into the CD straight away. But after this performance tonight, I'm going to search it down and put it in pronto. Starting off with just guitarist/vocalist David K doing a feeback thing, the remainder of the band eventually join him onstage and proceed to knock out a beatufully dischordant noise. It's hard listening, but there's definite songs and grooves in there, and the noise isn't for noise's sake. MAybe a touch of the Unsane's, the 3D House of Beef sort of thing. Tortured vocals, but a truly excellent set, which the small crowd appears appreciative of. They've come from Russia / Israel (it's a bit confusing), and you only hope that they're not as disappointed as I get by the response in the UK.Right, now where's that CD.

I know what you're thinking. To para, or to diddle, that is the question. Well I ain't saying. Yep, time for Element then now. Having seen them a number of times, it's hard to say anything different or new about them, so I won't really try. Strong enough set, even though there's a few fluffed notes during Tsunami. I don't know if it is a new one or whether it's just tonight it struck me, but Retribution is a highight mainly due to the vocals and the actual singing. All the other er, elements, from the past are there - the same niggles stick with me, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hey, I'm quoting Rush now - there's a bad sign!

Another thing that niggles with me, and this appears the same wherever you go in the country, is how often an already thin crowd thins out even more after the local band has played. Dunno about you, but it just annoys me. Seems like it would be the decent thing to do to hang around and see the other bands. A thing of courtesy y'know. Instead dBh are faced with a small and in many ways disinterested crowd. As the band start up, vocalist Andy stands towards the back, before racing to pick up the microphone and spending the rest of the set wandering around in people's faces like Rollins in a pissed off mood. This band has improved so much. Before they seemed scared to go on stage, now there's a sense of comfort and commanding presence. Andy has developed from the hindrance to the band to the absolute focal point. Careering around, he trawls through grindcore, death metal and even some singing. Flapping his hands as he heads towards teh bar looking for some kind of life from people. Don't know what it was but the second song, within an instant of it starting has the members of Rabies Caste going rabid (hey, I thought about it, but no, I will stoop that low.) They manages to get one other person to move, and the set is dedicated to him. It'll be interesting to see how they transform this onto CD, and they are still at the stage where they need to do supports rather than their own tour, but they are developing into something of a force now.