RSJ - August 8, 2008 - Fibber Magee's, Dublin, IR
By: Ken McGrath
Doors may have opened at 8, but it’s nearly two hours later before local support Two Tales Of Woe make it onto the stage in a sweltering Fibber Magee’s. While their down tempo, chunky Southern metal meets Machine Head is initially quite interesting, after the first couple of songs it begins to run together and it’s clear they’re not offering anything new just yet. So it falls to Belfast’s Stand-Up Guy to inject a little life into the place. Crushing Neurosis style riffs, atmospheric instrumental passages and distant, bellowed twin vocals, which as always sound great, causing you to wonder why there aren’t more people around to witness this.
Actually the lack of people at the gig is really disappointing. Sure it was a poorly promoted show, but Fibber’s is a rocker pub and they’ve got bands playing almost every week. It says a lot about the scene in Dublin at the moment that three visiting bands and one local act are basically playing to each other and a tiny handful of others. Stand-Up Guy gigs in the capital are rare but they’re a talented band with great songs and should be getting a better reception than this. Residual Effect may have been away for a while, this is only their second show with new drummer Gerard Gallagher who’s fitting in very well, the nerves obviously working in his favour as he gels perfectly, so that could account for that dearth of people rushing to check them out. But it’s certainly good to have them back on the scene, their brutish, muscular Lamb Of God style metal a acting as the perfect segue into RSJ.
And as for RSJ, despite having been around since ’02, their profile in Dublin doesn’t seem to be that big and it’s kind of easy to see how they’ve fallen through the cracks. About eight years ago they would have been raved about in the UK music press alongside earthtone9 and Miocene, but both these bands suffered from extreme apathy in their localities, resulting in them finally giving in. RSJ have stuck with and fair fucks to them for it.
Full-on Will Haven meets earthtone9 wedges of buzzing distortion are forced out alongside gutter-scraping vocals, scuzzy bass and weird little offshoots of guitar noise. But before their first song, vocalist Dan Cook, walks to the back of the gig area while his band open up the floodgates. For a minute or two it’s fair enough to wonder if he’s actually going to get up there and perform or if he’s going to storm off. You wouldn’t blame him if he did and during their first track you’d think you were watching a band on the verge of breaking up, but he’s probably just pissed off at the poor turn out. It’s not cool, but he vents by screaming his heart out and hanging off the projector hooked to the ceiling. Good times. Would have been nice to see him tear it down though.
The two drunk guys down the front who were starting to get into things during the angry bursts of Residual Effect really start to flip out though, meaning there’s as much to watch off the stage as on it. Meanwhile it’s mentioned to Blistering, by one punter, that the lack of an American band on the bill was what was keeping the local metal-heads away. Sad, really that you need to have a group from across the Atlantic playing to get a bit of attention, especially when the bands you’ve got are this diverse and good.