Sunday, 10 March 2013

Me too. Live review of Me and Yearbook at The Barfly

Me **1/2***

Yearbook *****

Red House Glory ***1/2**

The Barfly, Camden, Tuesday 5th March 2013

In the Barfly kitchen tonight, we’ve got some grunge, a librarian, some camp Aussies, deep sub drops, screams, woo-hoos and plenty of guitars. So let’s see how the chefs do:

Red House Glory ***1/2**

Not an encouraging kick off, as first to get their aprons on in tonight’s bake off are late into the scullery. Tut tut. However, once all prepped and plugged in things get off to a relatively tasty start.

Ingredients: First, take a goodly dash of Pearl Jam. Add in a healthy slug of early Green Day (when they were half decent) heavy guitars, decent melody and a sprinkle or two of vintage rock and roll and, if you can find it a dash or two of balls-out boogie.

Method: Bake in a small, hot, Camden box at medium temperature and wait for about 20 minutes. 

Results: A decent, honest, wholesome melange of big, grungy, rocky vibrancy. Nothing too new or exciting, but with a couple of new tunes on show, there’s potential here. One new song (as yet nameless) is the pick of the generally very tasty platter. Be nice to see how things mature.

Yearbook *****

Ingredients: Just about everything in the fucking cupboard. Take searingly hot chilli-infused math rock, sugary melodies, amusing spicy lyricism, red raw passionate and powerful meaty poprock, complex jazzy molecular unctions and glazes that Heston Blumenthal would drool over, punky sauces, massive dark chocolatey sub bombs, delightfully flavoured harmonies, rusty nail screams, high ranged and searing vocal razors, guitar venom fused with subtle tasting smooth oils, big, bold-tasting bass and glue it all together with precisely measured and spikey, spicy, perfect drumming.

Method: Empty all the contents into a hawaiian shirt. Resist the temptation to mix it all up. Experiment with micro quantities of all the ingredients. Scientifically, but intuitively blend them. Then shake vigorously. Boom.

Results: Mouthwatering, triple, fuck it, quadruple Michelin-starred genius. Nigh on weird and wonderful perfection. Willy Wonka and Blumenthal’s bastard offspring can’t even come close. The originality is outstanding, veering from nerdy punky sneers to the choppiest, polyrhythmic kicks to the tastebuds. 

There’s heaviness aplenty, but with such sweet melodic counterpoint. Such delicate contrast. It’s just so clever. But never indulgent or knowing. Jaunt, joy, bombast and trickery. Including two (three counting the outstanding recent release Art Student) ones straight out of the oven. Truly magical. Yum. And indeed, yum.

Me **1/2***

Ingredients: Sugar. Spice. Pomp. A litre or two of fizzy Aussie froth. A couple of dollops of Queen. Throw in a handful of Muse. A liberal sprinkling of AWOLNation. A tiny hint of The Mars Volta’s tuneful bits and finally finish with large scoops of Mika. Yup, Mika.

Method: Pack into a small space with lots of Aussies, girls and luvvies from the industry, strut, shake, groove and shake again using the hips.

Result: Processed poppy, pompy grandiosity. Think The Rocky Horror Show played by Jet. All camp and meringue-like. Beautifully played (especially given the apparent late change of guitarist) but mildly bland. 

There’s the odd sophisticated top note, but on the whole it’s a bit sickly sweet. The often Mika-like operatically high register vocals wear a little thin after a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exquisitely crafted and performed but, as I say (and particularly after Yearbook’s ridiculous exploration and exploitation of every taste bud) feels a little soulless. The Queen-infused  layered pastry is somewhat overdone and there’s even an unpalatable hint of a wedding band that annoyingly cloys and keeps niggling the buds. Not horrid by any means. Just a bit overcooked with too much saccharine.

Here are some goodies from Yearbook. Tuck in. Greedily.

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