I came to the conclusion that spending this cold evening safely indoors while watching three bands play noisy and angular rock would be a good idea. Surprisingly, not a lot of people thought the same; the venue wasn't empty, but there certainly would've been room for more folk. Well, at least now most of the people present seemed to enjoy what they were being offered.
Kansakunnan Ylpeys is a local trio that released their first tape-album a while ago. They played their noise rock furiously and with enough intensity and movement to keep the gig pleasing both visually and aurally. This was the second time I saw the band perform live, but my opinion of them didn't change a lot from the last time; their punk-ish sound and attitude combined with the shrilling and crisp guitar-sound seemed interesting at first, but their music didn't make me do anything beside some approbative nodding. Perhaps it's the light and sharp guitar sound that makes me feel like something's missing from the band's music? Anyway, I still think the trio seems promising, and I would've bought their tape if it had been sold at the venue.
I had pretty much zero expectations for Vene (their name stands for "a boat"). They've gotten a lot of praise from the domestic music medias and their music had been described as very twisted, but when I gave their sample-songs a listen some time ago I was treated to good, but fairly usual, safe and even dull music - which is the exact same scenario I had gone through earlier with the band Aortaorta, with the exception that I actually went ahead and bought their LP. Naturally, disappointment ensued. I've heard that the Vene has toned down their expression since their earlier works, so there's a chance that I had just listened to a wrong bunch of songs.
I wasn't originally too thrilled when the band started playing, unsurprisingly, but as the gig went onwards I started to see what the buzz was about. The music isn't really that twisted at all, but more about precise musicianship with good sounds and a lot of well-composed rhythm-gimmicks; truly, the very skilled drumming pleased my ears. Still, the band's music is not really my cup of tea as I felt like everything was even too well in control of the band. The show went on steadily and professionally, and although the music ain't bad, the steadiness and lack of movement (from others than the vocalist/guitarist) got me bored.
I might have to give the band's recorded works another chance some day, though, as now I know better what to expect and this fact arose my curiosity for Vene's recorded works a bit. Oh, and as stated earlier, the band's gotten really good feedback from other reviewers, so we might just be dealing with a case of "pearls given to the swine" here, heh!
Next up, Fun, a Finnish trio that's been playing their brand of noise rock for about ten years now. I hadn't yet gotten properly acquainted with the band's works, but all the good feedback and promising sample songs that I had listened to practically forced me to go see their gig.
Much to my enjoyment I can say that my decision was definitely a good one. Fun played for about an hour of noise rock that kept on bouncing from occasional calmer spheres to heaviness and repetition to absolute hostility and chaos. As soon as I had gotten into what the band was playing at the moment, they started playing something all different - and I rejoiced every second of it. Generally I enjoy my noise rock in a rawer and rougher form, but the band's skill, great compositions and energy won me over. The vocalist/guitarist was literally dripping sweat in the gig's end, which is a pretty clear sign of him putting some effort in the band's performance.
At times it almost seemed as if all the three members were playing their own compositions fully separated from what the other two were playing, and it would've been a mere happy coincidence that these three separate instrumental performances came together to form a song - and despite how that sounds, I mean it as a honest compliment and a sign of awe. I bought the band's "Zu-Pa!"-LP and new 7", and I'm looking forward to giving them a spin soon.
As usual, the evening left very little to complain sound-wise either. This was especially true in Fun's case. I heard some complaints about the guitar being too quiet, but I preferred it so that the sturdy and heavy bass-sound took over a lot of the space, whereas the much sharper and shrilling guitar sound and the somewhat punk-sounding drums operated on separate levels. All the three musicians had their own areas of expressional freedom and responsibilities, and they were taken care of with ease and dedication.
Again, I'm so glad I came to see these bands.