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Dictionary Pudding’s daring but brilliant bookings-they brought the Ex to Sticky Mike’s earlier in the year-continue with a visit of the most globally significant noise group, Detroit’s Wolf Eyes.
For a group that embraces such sonic chaos, their line-up has been stable across their 18-year history. Started initially as a solo project of Nate Young (electronics, voice), the core line-up was established with the arrivals of guitarist Aaron Dilloway – now a solo artist of some repute in 1999 – and John Olson (electronics) in 2000. This line-up survived until 2005 long enough to release their breakthrough album, 2004’s Burned Mind, on the renowned American indie label Sub Pop. Burned Mind would be the high-point of this line-up’s progression, the band creating a cleanly recorded illustration of the value of texture and restraint in the piercing noise maelstrom.
Dilloway left the group in 2005 to be replaced by Mike Connelly on guitar, Connelly would be part of the band that released Human Animal on Sub Pop in 2006, a record that further took the light and shade dynamics of Burned Mind and took them to places their contemporaries in the noise world struggled to reach.
Last year saw the band at something of a crossroads. Connelly departed to make way for current guitar shredder Jim Baljo, whilst Nate Young was becoming interested in more conventional song-writing rather than endless experimentation. Last year’s career highlight No Answer: Lower Floors was a team effort encompassing not only the current touring band but input from previous members Dilloway and Connelly and as such felt like a distillation of all their previous work. The restrained menace of ‘Chattering Lead’ and the slow-building atmospheric story telling of ‘Confession of The Informer,’ sit comfortably alongside the old-fashioned noise workout ‘Warning Sign.’
They have a fierce reputation live. Firstly, they can be LOUD to the point of transcendental, though they may have mellowed slightly on this front. Secondly, their presentation is that of a rock and roll band rather than a noise group, they are never anything other than visually arresting and ever so slightly over the top.
Support comes in the form of Dylan Nyoukis, who is local noise royalty, having shared a stage with Thurston Moore in the recent past, whilst also being involved with the globally renown Colour Out of Space noise/experimental festival. Opening the show will be Slow Listener.
Last Wednesday the 6 legged Detroit noise machine, Wolf Eyes came to Brighton to teach us all a thing or two about live performance. Brighton Noise was quite simply blown away and here’s 10 reasons why.
1. Nate Young is one of the coolest (and sexiest) men alive. Anyone that can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors without looking stupid gets our vote.
2. If you are going to pick up a guitar, please we implore you go to Jim Baljo for shredding advice. If the man was any sharper on his instrument of choice he’d be a cheese grater
3. Volume conquers absolutely everything. Especially within the bunker like confines of Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
4. Wolf Eyes next record will undoubtedly be the best in their ridiculously stocked cannon. The new stuff they played managed to be droney and ferocious at the same time.
5. Seriously, does anyone want to start a band?
6. Big amps are ALWAYS a good sign.
7. Do you know how difficult it is for a noise band to play an hour’s set and actually keep it interesting?
9. They’ve started playing actual “songs” and they’re really good at it.
10. You could do a hell of a lot worse in a heavy metal education than download the entire discographies of the patches on Jon Olson’s denim jacket.
Gig of the year so far. Trip metal forever.