Medulla Nocte / Defcon
Nottingham Old Angel
October 16 1999
First up are Defcon, who it has to be said at the moment are a bit tooooo neu metal for me. The bassist is holding the bass almost upright in that Fieldy manner, and the drummer is doing his thing in a basketball shirt - I always wonder which basketball teams UK people support, given that these items aren't fashion clothing obviously. The guitarist meanwhile is holding a Hetfield shaped guitar, and the vocalist is doing his best to avoid going on stage by spending virtually the entire set wandering in front of the stage or sitting on a seat. And the problem is that taking some of their visual queues, everything is too predictable. The little quitar squeals, the hi-hat playing, the bass sound. It's all ok, but it's all toooo nu metal at the moment. And let's face it, UK bands that follow an American trend never really get anywhere. They may be fine in their own right, but the industry in this country doesn't give a fuck about UK bands when they're highly original, let alone if they're cloning others a bit. Some of the material is new "we wrote this yesterday" some is old "this is the first song we ever wrote", but to be honest, how old it is means nothing. To me, and anyone not a friend of the band, then I'm sure it's pretty much the first time we've heard it anyway, so therefore it's all new, and it's the music that counts. There are times where they get away from the typical nu metal sound, and although not memorable, it's much better simply because you can start to maybe associate some kind of identity with Defcon. They're young and they'll grow. I hope for their sakes they grow in their own direction rather than emulating what's happening over the pond. Because unfortunately that way leads to zilch.
Like I said, the industry in this country doesn't give a fuck about UK bands. I mean, take Medulla. They are the best extreme act in this country, and probably Europe. They'd eat most American intense bands for breakfast (or Jammer would!), and here they are again. They've been off the road for a few months, writing new material, gearing up to record early next year, and they're off the leash again for tonight. And how. Lairy or what. They seem especially wired tonight. Nothing For Second starts it up, and there in it's a trip through those oldies but goodies. A Conversation Alone has Paul spitting out the lyrics, "today I think I'll kill myself, it's what the voices tell me" and throwing himself around the stage (quite literally and physically) in a way NO-ONE else is currently doing. It can look fake when people do it, but watching this, you know it isn't. Don't ask how that can be explained, it can't. Simply watching and you'll know, like when Paul hammers the microphone into his head. Others have done it sure, some fake some real. But you know this isn't fake. You just need to watch it to know. "This is dedicated to Iron Monkey - Rest in Peace" is the introduction to All Our Friends Are Dead. They may well be, but there's a few of the late Monkey up the front casting an eye on proceedings. Inside I'm Dying is the second of the newbies, and whereas on initial listens Nothing For Second was the one that grabbed attention, Inside I'm Dying is sneakily putting its hands around your throat. It really is an awesome display. Hooked on Masturbation, All That I Ask they shred. It can't be stated any simpler than that. They leave but return for a quick encore of Freebase' Trying To Change and it's all over.
Awesome. But although there's a decent crowd to witness this destruction, it's still not enough. Once more all the hardcore kids are missing. I never see them at Medulla or Earthtone 9 gigs. Too metal maybe? Dunno. But I thought this was all about unity. Besides, they're no more metal than Stampin' Ground, in that they all ARE metal, but are all hardcore as well. Little bit of both to tempt you with. But I forgot. It's Saturday. Saturday night means going to Rock City to "hang" with the hardcore kids while the DJs play the same hardcore songs every week, the pointy finger dance is perfected and walletchains, backpacks and baggypants can be compared. Not that's its about being seen to be seen of course. Oh no, the only seen that they're interested in after all is THE SCENE and supporting it. Unity. So where the fuck are you all? There's a lot of rhetoric spouted about hardcore, but sometimes it seems its way more clique and cliche than truth. Medulla and Earthtone 9 should be supporting the American bands if not headlining the bigger places. They need YOU for that. For people to turn out, show there is a scene, show there is something to get excited by. You need to show the magazines, labels, promoters and everyone that there is something going on. If you ain't there, how do they know? It's about time some people put their money where their mouth is. Start emailing Kerrang! or Metal Hammer demanding that the likes of Medulla and Earthtone 9 get some decent tours. E-mail your support to me if you like, I'll send them a list of names. Start demanding to be told about the likes of Dailo and Blackrock. Start to get the bands that create the scenes that you hold so dear to your heart noticed. It applies across the board - metal, hardcore, punk - whatever. Though do there really have to be these divisions? Have you really tried a taste of the different styles, or are you simply blinded to anything else because you're a paid up member of the "I must only like this because otherwise I'll have to answer to the scene police" gang. It's up to you. The bands are doing their thing, are you doing yours?
Cracked Machine zine.
Picked this up at either the Bardo Pond or Marine Research gig. Forget which. About 50 odd pages crammed with stuff in small print. It says itís "a remix of the website". Itís full of the likes of Sonic Youth, Pixies, Swans, Pavement, Brainiac, Merzbrow and the likes.
In depth interviews with Main, Shellac, Labradford, Trans Am, Pavement, Makeup and lots more.
The reviews are very in depth. Sometimes itís all a bit intelligent for me, itís not really a style of music Iím overly familiar with, and it kind of feels like the NME and Melody Maker, in that I feel Iím being spoken down to for who I am and my lack of understanding. But itís better than that. If youíre interested in the bands on the likes of the Touch & Go label, 4AD and Release then this is pretty much an essential zine for you to get hold of I would suggest.
Donít expect any metal. The website review of Dearly Beheaded and The Blood Devine albums was finished with the following quote: (Review by Stevie Eye - I wouldn't touch this heavy metal crap with a barge pole myself). Nice to know thereís no musical prejudice left in the world.
I think it was a quid.
Contact: 64 Demesne Rd, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8PJ.