Blueneck - The Fallen Host
I remember it with unnerving clarity. A run down, now burnt down, leisure centre in Port Talbot; that was the scene of my first encounter with ‘post rock’. After lulling a horde of abusive, partisan, kohl eyed Manics fans into a false sense of security, by gently teasing out seemingly endless arpeggios, support band Mogwai suddenly pinned every last one of us to the locker room walls with a deafening roar of unnatural, devastating power. My lungs collapsed, my ear drums caved in, but I was hooked. That was an eternity ago, but yet here we are a decade or more later and now it is Bristol based Blueneck that are teasing my shattered nerves with their brand of quiet/loud/quiet/loud/LOUD guitar rock. There is, to be fair, great depth to the album and the musicianship, featuring piano, cello and violin in amongst the pounding drums and soaring guitars, is first rate. The problem being that, unless you are an absolute devotee to the genre, it all begins to sound the same very quickly and there’s precious little to distinguish Blueneck from their predecessors and peers. It is, as you’d expect, dynamic, immersive and intense, but it lacks the necessary identity for the listener to embrace the band. It is clearly reminiscent of Mogwai, but Mogwai it ain't. Competence is not enough.