Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

ATP- NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Curated by Mike Patton and The Melvins - 5th, 6th and 7th of December 2008


KILL ME TOMORROW- Seemed to be sporting a new line up, minus the leggy blonde, which concerned me, however the same high standard of performance ensued .

Tribal, upright drumming, angular guitar work and repetitive, almost persuasive vocals. I really do like this band, this is the second time I have seen them and they didn’t disappoint, it was just a shame they were on so early.

MELVINS 1983- The original line up from the eighties, performing their punk influenced material from that period. Sounding a bit like every other American punk outfit from the eighties, I get the impression that if King Buzzo was not involved this band may not have been received too well, however mercifully they only played for about twenty minutes and I think people enjoyed this view into the past of one of the best stoner rock bands ever.

TWEAK BIRD- The brothers Bird graced our Friday night with some fine, stripped down southern rock, at times down tempo, they really made the most of the drums and single guitar to achieve a ground shaking wall of noise. On a side note, their 7” is also a cracking listen.

BIG BUSINESS- Had technical difficulties at the start of their set which ruined their sound levels for the initial ten minutes, with the addition of their auxiliary guitar player however the sound rapidly improved as they blazed off numerous party classics befitting of a much later scheduling, rather than the disappointing 6.15pm

THE LOCUST- were absolutely clinical, I am always surprised with this bands tightness, considering the blistering pace with which they perform. Opening with segments of ‘The Plague Soundscapes’ then following through with most of ‘New Erections’ this show was amazing from start to finish , I wished they had played for longer.

ISIS- A strong performance from the veterans of post-doom, their sheer volume tore through centre stage as they precisely transversed through old classics such as ‘grinning mouths’ along side newer, more tonal material, a triumphant set from the LA quintet.

PORN- are an improvisational noise collective featuring members of : Melvins, Fantomas, and Big Business , They showered down on us with Blocks of low frequency drone, dual drumming and superphased guitar/keyboard work befitting of their 2am positioning . They were also accompanied by Brent Hinds of Mastodon who promptly fell about the place, knocking over equipment and generally playing the guitar in a hilarious manner. Porn may have been the only band of the weekend who filled their time slot, and then some. Butlins security had to pretty much pull them off stage after what seemed like a day- long set. All in all, a great party performance.

MASTODON- Were minus a member for the weekend, guitarist Bill had been taken ill, which I feared would impact badly on the performance. Happily though I was proved wrong by the remaining members, who stepped up to the plate and were as twiddley and as brutal as ever, pulling off classics such as ‘Hearts Alive’ and ‘The Wolf is Loose’ with deadly precision. During their second performance of the weekend they were joined by the melvins onstage to create even more noise, A special moment in time.

FENNESZ- good old Christian, supplied exactly what you would expect from this noise thoroughbred, sheets of white noise with a tonal, very soothing edge . watching a fennesz show is always a heart warming experience , and this was no exception.

MELVINS- These guys were pretty much on stage all weekend in one guise or another , phenomenal stamina from the aging doom rockers, particularly considering that King Buzzo donned a thick black trench-coat during most sets. Their new line-up , featuring two drummers brings a more polyrhythmic edge to a tremendous guitar sound. They performed a lot of their new record ‘Nude With Boots’ as well as highlights from the back catalogue.

FANTOMAS- Patton et al, performed ‘the directors cut’ twice over the weekend, we were also blessed with all of the films featured via the medium of ATP TV. They really excelled above all expectation, even in the absence of Dave Lombardo, Fantomas were as brutal and wild as ever. Worthy co- curators!

SQUAREPUSHER- Now owns music as far as I am concerned. This performance was, by far, the best at this festival. 2 hours of banging electronica along with live drumming, bass playing and visuals, all of the highest order. If you get a chance , go and see squarepusher on this tour ,he is the dictionary definition of ‘next level’

JOE LALLY- A welcome treat for a hung over Sunday morning, the ex-fugazi legend was on good form. Rolling bass lines accompanied some relatively avant garde guitar work, mainly bowed, as well as chirpy , repetitive vocals reminded me of the work Joe did with Jon frusciante in ‘Ataxia’ but more upbeat.

MONOTONIX- Tel Aviv based garage rockers take the biscuit for most ridiculous live show at the festival, they set up on the floor then spent half an hour sailing round the venue , riding on top of the bass drum, being held 7ft in the air by the crowd, who were pretty boisterous themselves, this behaviour culminated in Monotonix finishing the show outside the venue , wrestling security guards and shouting in Hebrew.. brilliant!

DALEK- Ipecac’s favourite hip hop combo, sporting an expanded line-up for the weekend , featuring lap steel guitars and extra laptop noise. They took a while to warm up but once the sound engineers had got their heads around what was happening it developed into the best Dalek performance I have witnessed, far louder than normal with a richness of sound surrounding the tight hip hop beats and clinical rhyme delivery.

DOUBLE NEGATIVE- Straight down-the-line hardcore punk, just what the doctor ordered for 2am on a Monday morning, suddenly from out of nowhere, men without shirts were running from side to side flailing their arms. A very intense performance from this Californian quartet, bar chords and distorted bass rained down for all of fifteen minutes and then it was all over…