Pulkas / Medulla Nocte
Derby Victoria Inn
May 6 1998
Medulla Nocte hail from Hereford, and it's likely that nothing like them has ever emerged from those parts before. Doing a soundcheck it seems, almost as they are about to start, vocalist Paul picks the microphone he's happiest with (which just happened to be guitarist Neal's) and they're off. A blast of metal / hardcore crossover, it avoids the trap of falling into the same pace for each song. Speed blasts are mixed up with more groove oriented structures. Depsite people not hanging from the rafters, they still put everything into it, which makes them a frightening prospect. But there's songs in there as well, something which some bands lack. Aggression and intensity is one thing, when you combine it with songs, then you're on a whole new level. They have their debut album released in June, so most of the material is new to me, though the first single, All Our Friends Are Dead, is familiar. But after the first listen, you're left looking forward to that moment in June when their first bomb is dropped.
They'll also be supporting Strapping Young Lad on the UK tour in June, something which they are looking forward to. An interview was done after their set, its in the rest oi this issue somewhere. I have too many interviews to type up at the moment. The next 3 issues are done in terms of content. Guess that means they're just going to have to get bigger and bigger. And still free, you lucky people. Ok, so that had nothing to do with the gig, but sometimes those tangents are nice.
Anyway, the bomb that was being dropped by Pulkas was already a couple of songs in by the time I returned after the interview. And hitting the stride nicely they were. I only managed to pick up my copy of the album Greed on the morning of the gig, so the majority of songs are still unfamiliar. However, Control and Hippy Fascist were the definite standouts for me at this point in time. Maybe it felt like they had the biggest groove going on there. But having listened to the album 3 times before the gig, I think its safe to say that the rest will be growing very nicely thankyou.
Whatever the unfamiliarity of the material may mean, it doesn't prevent the band from locking in. Luke the vocalist is the obvious focus. I've yet to see System of a Down live, given that like, they've not been to the UK, but the reports coming back from the states say how charismatic a frontman Serj is. I get the feeling that Luke is in some way cut from the same mould. Totally wrapped up in the music, it's a performance that drags you in as it goes on. Though not enough to get me in the front being an individual obviously. I retain my right to be my own person in amongst the rest of the crowd instead.
And just in case you missed the point of that statement, it's to condemn myself for being as reserved as everyone else when it comes to UK bands. Stand back and watch. Don't lose myself. Strange isn't it, how all the American bands I've asked in interviews say how much more up for it British and European crowds are, whereas Americans stand there and wait to be impressed. Yet when it's a British band we're watching, that's exactly what we do. And I stand as guilty as the next person. In short, it means that if both Pulkas and Medulla Nocte were American, there'd have been double the number of people, and everyone (except me of course :)) would've gone absolutely apeshit. But it's early days yet. And those days are most definitely ahead of both bands.
And yep, there'll be a Pulkas interview in YAZ soon as well. Now stop reading this and go get the album. Mine only cost 7.95. Absolute bargain.