Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Beatbox, Swansea

Having recently been responsible for the aural irritants known as Terris and Mohobishopi, South Wales is probably the last place you’d be expecting to find anyone worthy of being classed as the latest next big thing, but try not to let the geography put you off. While the best their local contemporaries can muster is empty rhetoric and unfulfilled promises, McLusky are an altogether different proposition, a snarling combination of punk aggression and hardcore ferocity, prowling the stage like caged animals spitting their anger and vehemence into the faces of their captors. They may look like the last thing you’d want to meet in a dark alleyway late at night, or in the middle of the park on a bright summer’s day for that matter, but sometimes salvation can come from the least likely places.

It’s there in the abrasive ‘Joy’ as bassist Jon Chapple contorts into new shapes behind his mic, as Andy Falkous screams his way through ‘White Liberal On White Liberal Action’, all raw attrition and white-knuckle guitars. It’s probably only a matter of time before some hack claims that this anger and attitude is the direct result of their environment, that McLusky’s power and passion is fuelled by the frustration of South Wales living, but McLusky are so essential that any such eulogising is rendered irrelevant by their very existence, because who gives a fuck about the origins of this noise when it’s this pure and vibrant.

As the final riposte of ‘Who You Know’ is hurled across the room, you’re left reeling from the impact, overwhelmed by the feeling that you’ve just been cut to the bone, as their hooks slice effortlessly through sinew and muscle to leave you completely exposed and breathless. Hardcore, it would appear, has come to settle the score.