REVIEW | Empire – Nice N Sleazy (21.11.17)

EMPIRE

We arrived just in the nick of time and entered into a jammed room for Karin from Dumfries. These guys had some hype behind them leading up to this, and we were told multiple times that we were going to love them, and damn where they right.

The trio delivered a fiercely tight set that engaged and incited everybody all the way through. Their dynamic energy and ability to swing between opposing tempos in a snap was great, and on the subject, when they did reach full speed it was quite a sight; in particular, the drumming was a fluent blur.

An awesome opener, and we cannot remember the last time we became fans of a band so quick.

*

Here’s a quartet that we were familiar with – Visceral Noise Department – whom we fell in love with when they supported Allusondrugs at this very venue back in the summer, and it was nice to see them again in action with a rocking grungy performance of delightful proportions.

Some of the slower material didn’t click as well, but when they kicked up to a speedy groove, they were a blast. Brenden bobbled around the place like a madman, as is his wont, and we feel Jenny doesn’t get enough appreciation for her drumming abilities.

A couple of the focal points included an ode to Joe Bone via a cover of The Promise by The Coffins, and the catchy Olympic Gold In Mental Gymnastics. On a whole, freaking sweet.

*

Now here’s a group we haven’t seen live in a long time – self-proclaimed “prog w*nkers Atlas Empire, fresh off their Canadian tour.

They didn’t seem stilted by nippy gear issues prior to beginning, impressing with the likes of new single Diminishing Returns and It’s All In The Reflexes. When low, they built atmospheric moods, and when they picked it up, they wowed the audience with intricate riffs and explosive rhythms.

It was fantastic stuff, as we’ve come to expect from these guys, and we look forward to their upcoming album.

*

Empire themselves took to the stage, commencing with the spirited Sparrows. In addition to the customary songs we’ve all grown to love, they also gave us a plethora of banging newer tunes throughout.

There was a great display of resonant vocals and forceful drumming in Sights, before the immense Future, Past And Present got the crowd into a storm.

The fervent Patchwork And Bone kept the ball rolling, with special guest Dave McPherson appearing out of the blue and joining Joe in the proceedings, and they would electrify one last time with the always classic Black Hearts.

The first half was solid, but they improved upon it for a fun as hell latter half, and for the fourth time seeing them now, they were still more than worth our money.

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