Renton / Oxford Collapse - Buffalo Bar
Renton are blessed with, if you will, a certain sense of chaos. A sort of loose energy field that comes into play the moment they strike a note. It's strong enough to carry them through a set that is perhaps lacking in originality but more than makes up for it with energy and charisma. It's a performance and it's always a splendid thing to see a band enjoy themselves as much as Renton do tonight. Sounding like a sort of hybrid between The Mars Volta and Spinal Tap, if such a thing can be imagined, Renton's main weapons of choice are fat, squidgy bass lines coupled with bursts of pure rock guitar. It's a fine mix, or at least it is the way these chaps mix it. Apparently banned from the Blow-Up club (Metro) for being too rock 'n' roll, this is one of those bands where it seems that everyone has come together to add their own little pieces to the puzzle. The picture on the box of this puzzle would probably be something that your mother wouldn't like very much. They're tight, but sound as though they might just fall apart at any moment. It's exciting and it's very, very rock 'n' roll.
Oxford Collapse, on the other hand, have gone for a more wanky approach. There's nothing really wrong with them and there are times when it sort of comes together for them, but it's too little and too late. If you see this band, what you will remember about them is the sheer amount of time they spend doodling little bass and guitar lines at each other. It's very technical and, of course there are times when it's a little too technical to be much fun to watch and it all sort if disappears up their arses. If they could drop the wanky bits and concentrate on the powerful, exciting bits, they'd be a lot more interesting but the trouble is you get the impression that they wouldn't really know the difference. That's why they're not very good. They've little charisma to speak off either, which wouldn't be a problem if they weren't playing straight after a band that was dripping with the stuff. They were tonight, though, and, ultimately, they suffered for it. Oh, and the singer can't really sing, either, preferring to squawk into the microphone. There are times when this approach can work, but not here. Oxford Collapse are, ultimately, a wanky waste of time.
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