And None Of Them Knew They Were Robots

Wednesday 16th January, 2002

The Victoria Inn, Derby, ENGLAND.

The Victoria Inn is a pub located just across the road from Derby train station, a great location but a surprisingly small pub. The gig room is effectively the backroom, it's very intimate and seems to have no problems attracting good bands and a good crowd. The venue has a long-standing reputation for holding quality gigs and tonight was no exception.

Opening band, curiously called And None Of Them Knew They Were Robots, played a strange mix of hardcore or energetic metalcore that later turned to a more controlled production of noise with nice touches of resourceful guitar-work. A powerful sound with matching vocals, that on occasion sang emo style, but also bawled when it was appropriate. There was the odd moment of discordance to balance an all-round pleasing performance.

Beecher were next up and for our money are the band to be watching out for. They are beginning to get noticed now they're doing a few more gigs and they have a mini-album available through In At The Deep End Records (run by nice bloke Mark Swinney), called Resention Is A Big Word In A Small Town. The album will hopefully be reviewed as soon as a copy has been secured, but on the evidence of the gig tonight, it should be good.

How do you describe their sound? Well it's not that easy really, because it's a mix of so many things, ideas and influences. They produce an exceedingly tight sound of madness, with a chaotic conflict of noisecore, a barrage that hammers you into the ground and leaves you not knowing what the hell is going on in a very Dillinger-esque way. Then they throw a massive low-slung, thick and fuzzy, almost Sabbathy riff in your face, which blows you away. Fucking excellent, it's as heavy as fuck. There are also inclusions of spacey guitar effects and electronica that builds on the enigma of the overall performance. A good show from all concerned, including some excellent drumming, with the only gripe being the out of tune singing that occasionally grated, but not enough to effect what was a splendid gig.

The headliners tonight were Cave-In on their first visit to the UK, and boy did they come across as an arrogant bunch of sods. However, you just have to ignore that fact when you listen to their music, because these Americans produced some wonderful layers of melodic music, full of mesmerising melodies and resonance. This band have evolved from producing aggressive and intense metalcore in their early days (which incidentally was excellent), to the very different and more experimental style that they produce today. Listen to the albums Beyond Hypothermia (from 97') and Jupiter (their latest) and you could be forgiven for thinking they're from two different bands. You have to respect them for playing the music they want to play, while still paying tribute to their influences and taking huge steps forward with their own style.

And there was no looking to the past, as for this gig they played songs that went no further back than Jupiter but also included a number of new songs, some from their new EP. It's very obviously evident that they're all very good musicians and the vocals are just pure class, and together they produced an atmospheric and emotional sound. However, there was almost no rapport with a packed audience and they just walked straight off at the end, but despite this they gave an excellent performance that said all that needed to be said, leaving the crowd more than happy. Great music, an excellent performance, but a poor attitude. Guess we can't have it all, can we?