Terrordactyl - March 27, 2009 - The Lower Deck, Dublin, IR
By: Ken McGrath
An eclectic night of music was promised for this Focus Ireland (Homeless Aid) fund-raiser and that’s certainly what was delivered. Indie, instrumental rockers Enemies, have been slowly, steadily building a name for themselves and for a band that excels in the slow, steadily, building song, it’s just the sort of approach you’d expect. Falling into a middle ground somewhere between Tortoise and the spaced-out wonderment of God Is An Astronaut, Enemies might just be the most straightforward of the three bands reviewed here tonight, but they create a good, interesting lull. Great to watch while they’re on, but overpowered by the sheer lawnmowing force of what was to follow. Visually the basement of the Lower Deck when the venue is doesn’t offer up much but it’s a haven for DIY punk shows, able to hold a decent sized crowd, but small enough to look full if only half your expected audience show up. Tonight there’s a lot of bodies moving around, crowding around the entrance at the top of the stairs between bands. Musically it’s diverse and definitely a success.
After Enemies there’s a good half-hour of gabba that has the place buzzing nicely and some very odd shapes being thrown, before Cork duo I’ll Eat Your Face take to the stage, decked out in pink, hen-night, cowboy hats, faces fully covered and throw us to the wolves. Knowing nothing about them beforehand, this sudden blast of impromptu grindcore took the head clean off. Ingenious party grind with some absolutely savage drumming, how these boys slipped below the radar for so long is beyond me, although plenty of others here tonight seem well aware of them. Jamming an obscene amount of songs into as short a space as possible might be nothing new, but they manage it with such precision and a wicked sense of humour. It almost seems like a shameful waste of riffs that they blew past so quickly. More! The dancing, air punching ladies and gents crowding in front of the stage certainly agreed.
It could have easily ended there, but thankfully there was another weird, tattered vein to travel down before the evening wound to a close. Even the flashing house lights during their second song to indicate the bar was closing couldn’t derail this insane train. Incessantly noisy weird boxes Terrordactyl resurrected themselves just for tonight, coming out of extinction one last time in a bid to help the homeless. The only problem is that if the homeless heard this inside, they’d more than likely prefer to stay out in their cardboard hovels despite the rain. An away in their own loop mash up of styles that probably resulted from many teenage years of Mike Patton abuse the quartet are in fine form.
Two thirds of Adebisi Shank make up one half of Terrordactyl so there’s a constant steady rumble from the rhythm section, threatening to kill the bass off and drive the drums further through the floor, while on top it’s oppressive, deliberately slipping out of key noise rock, the occasional goofed up keyboard sound rattling your brain for good measure. Unfortunately it’s not a Jurassic Park moment we’re witnessing as we’re told these Mr Bungle/Fantomas/Lightening Bolt-ish fiends are not undergoing a rebirth. It was a good noise while it lasted, though.