Three Dimensional Tanx & Support
The Yorkshire House – 28/03/2009
Having recently turned 30 I decided to celebrate this feat by going to see for the 2nd time, The Three Dimensional Tanx (or 3d Tanx for short). Supporting them tonight were Joyeux who I’d been impressed with in the past and The Adventures of Loki who I’d heard of but was not familiar with.
Kicking off tonight’s action was Joyeux. Having seen them before, one thing I noticed is that they had expanded to a 4-piece with the inclusion of Thom Bleasdale, head honcho behind Slow Riot Records. However that was about the only change. Not much has altered at least musically. The band is still hammering out those doom laden riffs with hardcore energy. Rather in the style of The Melvins, Black Flag and The Stooges. In fact they performed a rabble rousing cover of No Fun from the latter. Thom as a relative newcomer to the band is an engaging front man, screaming with muster and running up and down in front of the stage whilst bouncing off the walls and singing in people’s faces. Curiously in bare feet. I’d even heard a disturbing rumour that he sometimes strips off a little further, one step short of au natural ala Henry Rollins during his Black Flag days. Thankfully Thom decided to exercise some restraint this evening and remained fully clothed. Thom also adds to the group dynamic by taking over lead vocals leaving Pete free to shred away on his guitar like a mad axe man.
After a good opening start by the mighty Joyeux, we had second band on the bill The Adventures of Loki. The Adventures of Loki formed in 2003 from the ashes of an all-girl punk trio called Angelica who made quite a bit of headway with a session for John Peel and showcase set for Steve Lamacq. Their first and only full length album was even produced by the legendary Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland. The group split with Holly Ross going on to play with The Lovely Eggs and Bridget Colton and Rachel Parsons teaming up with ex-Fifty Heads Wide guitar/vocalist Steve Wade to form The Adventures of Loki. Having heard of the group but never having had a chance to see them, I was eager to view their performance.
The band has a definite 1990’s alternative rock vibe to them with a slight pop-punk edge. The trio bring to mind groups such as Therapy and Ash. You could even say there is a Pixies influence present as well, what with the Quiet/Loud dynamic. The songs are tuneful and anthemic with hooks aplenty. However by the same token the group were hardly earth shatteringly original either. They were in some ways what Nirvana was to Dinosaur Jr, a more palatable and accessible version. The songs whilst well-written were far too controlled and slick in places. They almost seemed to be resisting the urge to let rip with reckless abandon. Even The Pixies let loose once in a while. This is something the audience picked up on hence the rather muted reception. However given the decline of indie-rock and alternative music in recent times with every band looking and sounding the same, The Adventures of Loki at least are swimming against the tide of popular taste. Albeit by harking back to the past.
Last up on tonight’s bill are one of my favourite local bands, The Three Dimensional Tanx. Unlike The Adventures of Loki, the 3d Tanx are certainly not afraid to let rip. The band has a very distinct image with retro 60’s haircuts and bellbottoms. However unlike a lot of modern so-called alternative bands, they have the musical chops to back this up. The band hark back to an era where bands took chances and experimented with their sound without being too concerned as to whether it appeals to the masses or not. The band cites their influences on their MySpace page as Amon Duul, Spacemen 3, Can, Neu and The Velvet Underground. One would be hard pressed to dispute these comparisons. That said the band manages to incorporate these influences whilst remaining stunningly original. The songs themselves are quite long and take you on something of a musical journey. The music is incredibly mesmerizing and hypnotic and you could say that I almost had something of an ‘out of body’ experience. The best bands captivate your attention throughout and force you to pay attention to them. The 3d Tanx managed this in spades on this particular evening. The band was intense and played with a passion and fire that I haven’t seen in that many local groups so far. The sole complaint was that the bands set were so short at some 40 minutes. I could definitely have heard more. So come on lads, play longer next time!
Reza Mills (this review also appears on www.DiversityFM.co.uk reviews page. Thanks to all.)