Sunday, April 10, 2005

Itchy, restless post-punk-funk spaziness

I have loads of stuff that I want to talk about. Firstly, the new issue of Plan B is fantastic. Ok, it's getting sold in HMV now, and they're obviously making serious reverbarations in the fickle world of music magazines; but still: i'd just like to support that fact, and maintain that there are some great articles on Nirvana, Arcade Fire and M Ward - to name a few. It's essential stuff, basically. Now the main thrust (I hardly ever get to use that word) of this piece is going to centre on Giant Haystacks (an American band with a Scottish singer) Projections (who include ex members of Cat on Form). Now, I was fortunate enough to catch both of these bands the other night in Nottingham (thanks again, Damn You!), and although they were slightly dwarfed by the scale of Thee More Shallows, they certainly weren't bettered. Are you ready? Then i'll begin.

Now up to this point in time, Projections have only played a handful of shows, but the current "mini - tour" with Oakland's own Giant Haystacks has gone some way to rectify this. Projectons are probably more well known for their past glories; Steve and Jamie used to be in Cat on Form. However, to say that Projections were born out of the ashes of Cat on Form is just a fact; I never actually got to see Cat on Form play live; and consequently, I don't really know what they sounded like live, but if the performance I witnessed on Friday night is any idication, I missed out, I missed out big time. Projections made some seriously intense - and what appeared to be improvised - noise, but you know, make up your own mind about that. Oh, and guys, I saved your mailing list from certain destruction at Bunkers Hill the other night. No need to thank me - Just keep me updated on that 7"

Projections - At a Distance
Cat on Form - Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist

I don't know if instantly warming to Giant Haystacks had something to do with what came before; don't get me wrong, Souvaris are obviously good at what they do, but they literally played what seemed like two tracks (?) and I was staring at the floor by the end of their set. They were certainly "post-rock" in the way that was alluded to me the night before, put it that way....Well, having said all that, the crowd at Bunkers Hill seemed to really appreciate them, so who knows. Anyway, Giant Haystacks are Nate on Drums, Daniel on Bass, and Allan on guitar. They all share vocal duties. During the gig the other night, it actually transpired that Giant Haystacks and Thee More Shallows came from the same town but that's not really an interesting story. What is interesting is how Giant Haystacks - on paper, at least - sound so shamelessly like a Mission of Burma and Minutemen ripoff band, but completely dispel any of that doubt through their live show; and, crucially, allow you to continue your (by which I mean me) obsession with their new album: Blunt Instrument. SO MUCH ENERGY! I was speaking to Daniel after the show, and he was really really pleased with how it turned out. It actually had to be sent by recording delivery to them only last week, and they're were concerns that it wouldn't be ready in time. Anyway, inbetween talking about the record, we had a chat about beer. You know, real beer. It was good.

Giant Haystacks - Catatonic State
Giant Haystacks - New Position

Look out for the Projection 7" when it comes out. Cat on Form released an album which you can buy at Southern Records, and you can buy Giant Haystacks records at their website, here.


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