8 May 2012

Review of Teeth of the Sea's Reaper at Sounds of the Other City festival

Here is a great review from Music -Dash of Teeth of the Sea's recent (and last ever) performance of REAPER at the Sound of the Other City festival in Salford:

"As Teeth Of The Sea set up their equipment the screens promise "REAPER: A RE-IMAGINING OF NEIL MARSHALL'S 'DOOMSDAY'". This film - in which Scotland has been quarantined due to a deadly virus and when a case is discovered in London the government sends a team up to the now effectively post-apocalyptic country - was described in The Northern Echo thus: "As a writer, Marshall leaves gaping holes in the plot while as a director he knows how to extract maximum punch from car chases, beatings and fights without stinting on the gore as body parts are lopped off with alarming frequency and bodies squashed to a bloody pulp." Teeth Of The Sea avoid the issue of the former and play to the strengths of the latter by having remixed the film in the way you would a musical track. Scenes jump and repeat; suddenly the screens are full of barbed wire guns and explosions, to which the band respond with a trumpet frenzy like a post-rock mariachi in hell. Musically we're in similar territory to their regular sets: like 65daysofstatic they always sounded like they should be soundtracking sci-fi, so there are epic tracts of densely layered modern prog, crunching post-hardcore riffs and lulls into ambient (but still rather loud) space. And then there's the finale. The screens flash up the words "GIVE THEM HELL" and the sound explodes into high-octane death techno, two of the band battering on the drum rims. A man's face burns and melts in flames onscreen, then another man in standard-issue apocalypse survivor uniform of white mohican and black eyeliner raises his arms and stares then falls into a baying crowd. On repeat. Fifteen times. Twenty. The music swirls threateningly. Again. Again. The drums crash, the guitars scream. Fall. Burn. It gets more intense, synths explode in a mass of oscillations. Fall. Melt. Like they're testing how much you can take. Fall. Flames. Fall. Then after - how long? Ten minutes? I have absolutely no idea - the sounds fade to echoes of drones.What the fuck just happened?

The band have played this show a few times now across the country, but this was apparently the last time, and we feel privileged to have seen it, even if it has scrambled our brains. Outside, Chapel Street is aglow with blue striplights set into the shiny new pavements like some Blade Runner future."

Read the full review here