The Beatings - The Legion
Bands should really put more care into the name they choose for themselves. With a name like The Beatings you'd want them to sound like being kicked down concrete steps by a pissed off skinhead on Angel Dust. Sadly, the experience they offer is more like being chased around a bouncy castle by Orville the Duck. As much fun as that sounds, there's something thoroughly depressing about The Beatings.
Tonight, they never really get over the false start they endure when they bang through the first couple of songs without a microphone switched on. That's what happens when you don't do a sound check, but it did offer the listener the chance to really listen to the music without the hindrance of vocals and realise the gaping void therein. There's nothing really at the heart of them. There's a few blues riffs, a few rock riffs, something borrowed from here, something copied from there and all regurgitated all over the place with nary a thought to the consequences. The consequences, of course, are that you end up sounding like nothing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with nicking stuff; their label mates, Ikara Colt happily borrow from everyone you can think off, but at least they attempt to make it sound fresh, do something different with it and make it their own. Even The Dirty, blatant copyists as they are, put so much effort into their performance that it more than makes up for other possible shortcomings. The Dirty even look like they are having a laugh regardless of what else is going on. The Beatings look like they are going to work; just going through the motions in order to give the audience 'a show'.
There’s nothing really to recommend about The Beatings at all. They sound like any other garage punk band at the pub level - The same chords, the same riffs, the same vocals (when they arrived), but nothing at all that makes them stand out from the crowd, and it is quite a big crowd at the moment. They're a bit bluesier than most, but that hardly makes for an earth shatteringly different thing. Give them a miss, and stay home and listen to Led Zeppelin or someone instead. Tonight’s gig was free, but it still felt like a rip-off.