Is this day five or day six, then? It’s already the fourth time this month I’ve been to the Meze, and it’s getting to feel worryingly like a second home. If I start enjoying the Tetleys they’ll have to wheel me away for treatment. Until then, the small matter of five more turns, all ostensibly noise/metal but all distinctive enough to prove that even a supposedly genre-specific bill can have something awesome for everyone. Away we go…
Off to a rousing start with the combined talents of Atomçk and Cementimental. A marriage made in a serial killer’s dank basement. Cementimental stands at the bar with a wired-up ipod, er, waiting for me to get served before him. Whoops. Ricocheting around the venue, mic in hand, he creates harsh, textured electronic noise from customised electronic detritus before he’s joined by a guitarist, adding further piercing feedback, and then Atomçk’s vocalist. Thereafter it’s a straight-up grind attack, enlivened with scattershot blastbeats and noise bursts. As the vocalist wheels about, garotting himself with the mic lead, his gutteral screams mesh in with either hyperspeed noodling, slower, technical riffing or a mixture of both in one invigorating blur. In short, brutal bursts like this it’s thrilling stuff.
Every time I see Brown Wings I wonder why they don’t get more gigs. Can’t be the name, surely? They’re way more versatile than you’d first think; stoner grooves and almost bluesy riffs add variation, and mean the impact when they do cut loose with the Lightning Bolt-inspired tech attack, Gareth’s arms a dizzying blur, is all the greater. Their game would be raised if the mid-set discussions (a lack of match fitness, maybe) were cut, as they lose a little momentum. They’re getting there though.
My ex-housemate raved about Spider Kitten for ages. All I really knew of them was their use of a drum machine, so it’s a surprise to see Chris from Taint helping out on drums. You wouldn’t know it was a one-off. The guy hunched over a table full of electronic kit and pedals might not add a whole lot tonight, but there’s plenty in this besides. Nice doomy, sludged-out metal with some slyly tuneful Sabbath moments in there too, and the bassist’s unable to control his grin as they loosen their shoulders and rock the fuck out.
Speaking of which, on tonight’s form the new Death Of Her Money album should be bloody great. It’s easy to take them for granted – no theatrics, no flashiness, they don’t particularly look like a storming, intense heavy rock band. Except they are. Shuddering, sludgy basslines, huge washes of distorted guitar, Kaskie bent double and screaming as his pedals get an absolute hammering. They spin out slow-build, epic metal with an emotional whack without ever being overblown. Splendid.
Bristol’s Big Naturals set their stall out from the start, constructing an elaborate crescent of amps on the floor; this is going to be punishingly loud, you sense. And so it is. It’s a bass and drum line up, but this time with a more considered heaviness that embeds titanic riffs deep in your sternum. The fact that space dictates they’re practically on top of the crowd helps – it’s like being hermetically sealed within the Who’s PA. The bassist’s nimble like Mike Watt, the oblivious drummer locks into his own world of rolling improvisation. We have to leave for the train after two songs and 10 minutes, passing a worried looking Meze Fest promoter on the way. It seems the neighbours aren’t keen on the street-shaking noise and a swift curfew is called. It’s almost fitting it ends this way.