WEDNESDAY 10TH JUNE // TICKETS: http://www.seetickets.com/event/liturgy/sticky-mikes-frog-bar/854614
Liturgy is a Brooklyn-based, self-styled “Transcendental Black Metal” band whose yearning, energetic music exists in an uncanny space between avant rock, black metal, fine art and shamanic ritual. Led by songwriter and conceptual architect Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who is joined by guitarist Bernard Gann, bassist Tyler Dusenbury and drummer Greg Fox, the band exists as a 21st century total work of art (gesamtkunstwerk): activating divine potencies by means of music and culture even as it underscores the contradictions inherent in such a project during the internet era. Their third full length, The Ark Work, is a quantum leap forward, a radical change in sound that paradoxically sounds more like Liturgy than ever.
One Inch Badge present:
10th June 2015
STicky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
£10.00 adv + booking fee
If the history of rock music teaches us one thing, it’s that in terms of progress, consensus is bad and divisiveness is good. Think of bands like Can, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground or Beefheart’s Magic Band that struggled to achieve more than feeding themselves while writing songs the legacy of which is still being felt, at a time when their contemporaries hoovered up half of Columbia on their riders daily. The average person doesn’t like being outside their comfort zone musically; scientifically our brains are predictive machines that find deviation from routine a jolt. This is useful to us in evolutionary terms, as you don’t want to be thinking intently about the mechanics behind every step you take, but not in terms of musical open-mindedness.
Liturgy wilfully ignore predictability to the extent that even three albums into their career they are accused by the notoriously – note the small ‘c’ – conservative, ‘true’ black metal scene as being some absurdist, hipster prank. That feeling is not helped by frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s (yes really) apparent willingness to debunk black metal theory as well as discuss the broad range of influence the band finds from outside the metal scene.
All that matters is the music though, right? Their first two albums Renihilation and Aesthetica both perfected a modern, clean sounding, remarkably propulsive take on the classic black metal sound, despite the band’s protestations of Glenn Branca and Swans influence. So much so that both records received near universal praise and actually served to make the howls of derision surrounding them seem a bit childish. Consensus?
Not quite – this years The Ark Work is the record that both their critics and supporters have been waiting for them to make, it’s the epitome of divisiveness if the metacritic scores are to be believed. The naysayers point to an abandonment of the black metal sound for more conventional song structures, and Hunter’s new whining croon and the dizzying genre-hopping as evidence of a band losing what made them essential. Supporters – including this one – are hearing a record that takes the forcefulness and majesty of the last two These New Purtians records and places them within an overtly metal context. As with most internationally revered extreme metal acts, their musicianship is not in question and blasting away at full throttle in Sticky Mike’s they should make for some spectacle.
Founded by Alex Murray, One Inch Badge (or OIB it’s also known) is an independently minded music collective based in Brighton. Disheartened by the lack of support the true Brighton scene was receiving at the time, OIB Records launched as a label that focused on the artist and did justice to the innovation and creativity of the underground.
While One Inch Badge Records has expanded beyond its original parameters, releasing records for acclaimed international artists as well as less established acts, they remain dedicated to supporting the local scene that built and inspired them. This is particularly evident in the April 2011 released 18 track compilation ‘Sea Monsters’ which is a comprehensive 18 track compilation of the most crucial bands out of Brighton right now.
The One Inch Badge collective are also active and prominent local promoters on the Brighton scene, recently promoting Brighton shows for MF DOOM; Wire; Venetian Snares; Sage Francis; Nina Nastasia; Why?; KRS-One; 65daysofstatic; Health; Wolf Parade; Vashti Bunyan; Pains of Being Pure at Heart; Liars; and many more.