WHITE NOISE SOUND / THE MILK RACE
WHITE NOISE SOUND come heavily recommended by R*E*P*E*A*Ts own overlord Rosey. In fact if you check out the Interviews section you will find his recent mutual love-in interview with his fellow Swansea Jacks here. So I felt it was my duty to check them out when they recently played a gig in the enemy territory of Cardiffs Clwb Ifor Bach.
Arriving early I had the pleasant experience of catching support band THE MILK RACE. In fact at the point I entered lead singer Chris Warlow was perched precariously on a banister surrounding the dance floor, whilst still hammering on his guitar. His later forays into the crows are reminiscent of Trash Talk or the Gallows and he prowls the venue like a tiger suffering from St Vitus dance. Once the bass player and drummer kick in their sound is a cacophony of noise that they describe as something like Devo doing shots with the Pixies in a dilapidated bar owned by David Yow, where The Replacements serve the beer and Black Flag work the door. And who am I to disagree! Definitely a band I intend to see again.
Then it was on to the head liners WHITE NOISE SOUND, but not before a veritable army of band members and friends had turned the stage into a spaghetti-junction-like mass of leads. Snaking their way in every direction they connected guitars, amps, synths, effect pedals and god knows what else leaving little of the actual floor still visible. Luckily there were no health and safety people in attendance otherwise they would have been shut down before even starting.
After a false start the familiar intro to Sunset introduces the band to the Cardiff audience, although I have a feeling that a proportion of those in attendance have travelled up from Swansea. To me this is their best and most immediate number and gets me immediately thinking of Jesus and Mary Chain and A Place to Bury Strangers, although thankfully not as loud as the latter band (my ears are still recovering from a gig by them over two years ago).
Their debut album was produced by Peter Kember of SpaceMan 3 and Cian Ciaran of Super Furry Animals, so they seem to have influential friends, and they seem to be making a name for themselves Stateside.
They have somewhat unfairly been labelled shoegazing, however to me their sound is more akin to electronic pyschedelia, with a type of ethereal quality. Each number is a wall of sound on which each member graffitis their own musical idiosyncrasies. Numbers seem to bleed into each other with each warmly received by the crowd in attendance. Highpoints would be the aforementioned Sunset, There is No Tomorrow and Blood.
If I think they have an Achilles heel it is in the fact that they have no focal point. With one guitarist sitting on an amp throughout and the vocalist sat stage-centre all-night behind his synth, they lack the visual stimulant of a standardly structured rock band with a manic front man (Rotten, Strummer, Cobain, Jagger, Bono etc). But maybe thats what they want, to stand out by departing from the norm and turning their gigs into something that may have graced Warhols Factory in the 60s. Anyway good luck to them and they didnt even mention Swanseas promotion once all night!
Words - Bones; WNS Pix - Rosey; Milk Race Pix from their Facebook here