The girlfriend takes off to Mexico for nine days and youíre left all by your lonesome. What to do? Well, it is London, and luckily for me, there was a strong triple bill on Saturday night at the Garage. Awaiting me that evening were Kinesis, Oceansize and Fi-Lo Radio. Oceansize were the only act I had yet to see, but having loved their debut album, it was a night I was highly anticipating and I was not to disappointed.
Preston youngsters Fi-Lo were on first. I had seen them open for Ash at their wonderful outdoor gig at Somerset House in August, but as they had a few more gigs under their belts by Saturday night, they were that much more impressive. A mere three-piece, the two-boy, one-girl ensemble take bits and pieces of Nirvanaand The Pixies and add their own little sumtin sumtin to come up with riff-heavy rock that sticks. Singer/guitarist Jon-Lee Martin has a distinctive voice and can fire up that six string in a hurry. Drummer Chris Jepson was a whirlwind, a real talent and a force to be reckoned with, while bassist Jude Pratt oozed cool as she laid down the rumbling underbelly. At just 22 years old, with hooks aplenty and energy to spare, Fi-Lo look to be going places. And, if youíre in the 212, you can check them out for yourselves, as they play October 17 at Pianoís and the next night at Tiswas, as well as an October 23 CMJ date at North Six in Brooklyn. A CMJ date is looking in the offing, as well.
Oceansize were up next and they provided a huge wall of sound for their 35-minute set. Containing three guitarists, this quintet layers on the guitars with great effect. Evoking thoughts of Swervedriver or Cave In, these Mancunians brought the rock in a big way. Working through just a few of the numbers on their debut album, Effloresce, the guitars ebbed and flowed through tracks ranging from five to nine minutes long, all the time with drummer again, as with Fi-Lo, providing an amazing backbone for the stratospheric rock sounds. If youíre into bands with walls and walls of guitars, you could do much worse than pick up a copy of Oceansizeís Effloresce.
The boys of the hour were up next and the floor got more packed as the army of under-18s got ready for the agit political punk/emo sounds of Kinesis. The quartet from Bolton just dropped their debut album, Handshakes For Bullets last week and this was their official coming out party. After their stellar show in Austin for SXSW, I knew what to expect, but that didnít make it any less enjoyable. ìAnd They Obey,î ìBillboard Beauty,î and new single ìOne Way Mirrorî were all ripped through with furious abandon, all searing guitars and powerful vocals provided by frontman . The kids loved it, forming a pit form song one and not letting down for the full 70 minutes of rock. A great show all the way around and, perhaps, a glimpse of the near future of guitar bands. Thanks to Gavin ìTedî Nugent for the hookup.