Crud World Domination Enterprises give you

Central Station, Wrexham

(review by MWJ)

Argh! Did it again. Failed to cotton on to the fact that it was an all ages (14+, put those Breeding Ground thoughts away) show so would run on sensible hours of 7.30 til 10.15 (!?!), so missed the start of the show once more. My excuse for lateness was that despite spending a good part of my latter formative/destructive years in recsum the extent of regeneration of parts of the place since was pretty shocking, and I needed a moment or two’s reflection. Especially touching the Kings Arms (scene of many a fine gig in the back room) gone, pushed before it fell down to make way for shiny new throughways to speed the happy clapper shoppers past the big church to the retail parks a–go-go. Oh, well. I’d often call it hell hole while I was there, it’s just more of a polished hell mouth now (Buffy tribute reference there)

First time I’d been to Central Station, which perhaps is another symbol of these ongoing changes. Decent venue I thought, if a little refined, disappointing though that somewhere like this seems to do little to support local bands and scenes in replacement of the older, shoddier but at least accessible places.

So, straight in to a bit of Murder One. A veritable UK sludge noise super group featuring guys from Charger, Medulla Nocte, and pitbull like Raging Speedhorn vocalist Johnny. While the "horn" probably achieved the peak in terms of hype and acceptance for this sub-cult scene, Murder One were to have featured the vocal talents of another Johnny, Morrow of Iron Monkey, a Nottingham band who really broke the ground for this new wave of ultra heavy heavy metal, Black Sabbath meets Napalm Death type thing, in the country. Sadly he died while this project was in it’s infancy but Hopefully he’d be pleased with what they’re achieving. It’s mighty thumping drums from an extremely heavy (being pc…) drummer, mighty crumps from pounded instruments. Respect for bass played at ankle level, serious rock strap length. The dual vocals are awesome "bowels of hell" deep versus hoarse higher pitch, reminiscent of old thrashers Nuclear Assault. Tunes including recent release "On Screen Rapist" and "Born with Tourettes" (Care to guess the lyrics?) are great lumbering beasts that impress with relentless power achieved without going superfast.


Speedy turn around (I wasn’t aware of early closing yet) and we’re faced with Charger. They’ve also just exchanged their singer from the guy I met at a Rabies Caste gig at the Rigger in Stoke to Martin, one half of Labrat’s vocal onslaught, last seen by me supporting EyeHateGod in Glasgow (Are you keeping track?). There’s definitely something incestuous about all this band swapping but it also seems to illustrate that that the music remains all important, whoever’s putting it together. Also goes to show commitment for these guys scattered between Merseyside, Stoke, and London to get to the band, distance between Bangor and Rhyl put into perspective. Anyway, at the Rigger I’d been told the forthcoming album was to be "experimental" (though still no doubt noisy), having Billy Anderson who’s produced Neurosis amongst others would definitely help. This certainly came across in the live performance; there was a lot more complexity to the riffs, a lot more breaking down of the structures, whilst still rooted in the roaring heaviness. While this genre stretching was admirable it did lead to somewhat of less of a live impact, demanding listening probably appreciated more through picking up the album in advance. Cool all the same


Seen My Ruin (from hillbilly Knoxsville Tennessee no less) on their last two tours in places as far apart as Edinburgh and Dudley, enjoyed both so why not again as they’re as close as this? There’s a big move up of the crowd and outbreaks of mosh indicating they certainly are the main attraction. After a slightly weaker sounding opening of "Sick with it" the mix is soon sorted and they’re into the groove with classics like "Blasphemous Girl" as well as stuff of their current "Horror of Beauty" album. While the tempo is similar to the support bands, there’s more of a polish to their metal/rock tunes, with a sleazy, hip-grinding undercurrent though. The roaring vocals are present once more courtesy of front-person Tairrie B, as fearsome in fury as Wendykurk’s Nomi. In fact ¾ of the band are female, an important factor in their appeal with the strong positive attitude that goes with it. Amply demonstrated when some keen bloke at the front squeezes her arse mid song, he getting chastised in no uncertain terms for disrespecting not only her but all the ladies there. As she points out, she’s not up there "for her tits and ass, but for her throat", and playing for the ladies present and the guys that respect ladies. Might sound a bit preachy but it’s well received, she is undoubtedly in-yer-face but backs up with intelligence, a leader with the crowd in the palm of her hand. But as she is also at pains to point out pissed of at being My Ruin featuring Tairrie B it’s a band thing as well, and they’re all locked in together to a raging performance on stage. I’m an extra big fan of bassist Megan, of course I’m naturally biased to all followers of the righteous four string path, but she really throws the tool of her trade around in a fine style, just as Jerry Only (Misfits) is wont to do. They’re all joined by Johnny from Murder One for a finale of a cover of Black Flag’s "My War".

Great show all round, they consistently deliver the goods. Just a bit surprised to find it finished (without an encore) at 10:15, extra beauty sleep’s not going to do me any good now. So I indulge in more nostalgia by purchasing a kebab from Central Kebab House round the corner, a place that kept me sustained with a fortnightly giro day main meal (all the food groups in there) through many grim doley/student months there. That was good, and I wove my way home through the throngs of pre-xmas clubbers in a different Rex-ham to wot I knew.

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