What a great night..! It was the EP launch for Emissaries Of Syn, whose ‘Clean Slate’ is out now on Bandcamp with two of those tracks out very soon on vinyl with Spam Javelin on ‘The Split Seven Inch EP’.
Keeping in line with their evocative ethics, proceeds from the evening were raised and donated to Medical Aid For Palestinians – the total being £170.
Some may say it was a bold and brave step by the Comrades Club in Conwy to host an evening of punk rock entertainment… but judging by the numbers and the crisp pound notes passing hands over the bar, I’m guessing even the old guys in the ‘snug’ next door weren’t complaining too much.
Kicking off proceedings in a very ugly fashion were Rhyl’s Ugly Fashion. Who, after a seemingly throwaway opening instrumental, got down down to the serious business of entertaining us with their post-punk post-shitness. And entertain us they most certainly did… Amassing gigs to their CV as if playing live is going out of (ugly) fashion, they’re a weird entity who refuse to straddle any given genre. Sure, there’s that punk rock edge to their sound, but there’s a distortion pedal free guitar and Migs’ distinctive voice, and the occasional spaz-out. They play a fucked up cover of Come Together (Spiritualized), and chuck in their own stuff, like Nico’s Mind with it’s Gang Of Four meets Wire vibe, and the semi-reggae feel of The Link. It’s a quick set that ends with I Wanna Be Your Dog a la Stooges, along with some cool Iggy moves for good measure… So wish they could get it together in the studio…
Not even sure if they have electricity in Tijuana in Mexico, let alone recording studios, but our Hispanic brothers, Los Muchachos from across the water are back once again, and the three amigos have become four with a new singer, Buchos. His energy has added an extra dimension to their multi dimensional (and very short set) as they cover sludged down subjects about their struggles in their homeland. The Border, Sangria, Cactus Fever, Alone-a-Corona and the huge crowd participatory favourite Hola Bore Da. Excellent stuff.. The best I’ve seen them.
Our hosts for the evening, Emissaries Of Syn, are playing on their home turf… Well… bassist-vocalist MWJ’s adopted home turf.. The other two are from Caernarfon and the Faroe Islands.
I may have said before that it took me a while to actually get EOS – I couldn’t get my head around the flatter than the earth vocals, to the point I’d flick to the next track (or band). However, loyalty to a fellow (unpaid) link2wales writer and (very old) old friend led to perseverance on my behalf… Fuck me, this is such a good band. Like a blastbeat Motorhead, and when I say blast beat, I mean like this..!!
It’s Crass-like ethic lyrics ranted upon a cacophonous tsunamic barrage of noise, and it’s simply immense. Amid the scorched earth subjects there is room for a little humour as Mark dons a ‘Bomber’ hat and the band pay homage to Lemmy with their version of Motorhead’s Bomber to end proceedings. You’d be a fool to flick to the next track (or band).
Flick on, however we must as it’s 11pm and there’s still another band to assault us… Those bound by trains and buses have opted to leave rather than walk home in the rain, yet there’s still a swell of people to be fed the food of love, and who better to do that than Bonzai Massacre.
They play a welcome off-kilter anti-metal with little compromise and hard hitting lyrics – there’s no laughing and joking… ‘Rejuvenate, discriminate,’ strains Chris as he smashes the drums. In front of him is Aled Lewis, who is in riff heaven, chugging away, while North Wales’ coolest bassist, Tracey Howarth keeps them both in check. Great stuff.