Live. Arcane Roots


Live Review. Arcane Roots, My First Tooth, Gunning For Tamar.

Oxford’s finest, Gunning For Tamar delivered an impactful support set that riled the crowd. Taunting with a honed stop/start math rock, they carry you to the edge of a cliff atop jarring swerves before using delicate vocal seduction to calmly reassure. These moments of calm make the callous drops terrifying. Gunning For Tamar stand alongside you as you hurtle down the cliff face, towards the crushing swells that break against the base of the song. Practical classics Chocoloate Hooves and Time Trophies jostled with the new Dark Sky Tourism and wrestled with the packet fresh Yogging and Another Season for dominance in a set that didn’t consider throwing a single duff punch.

My First Tooth didn’t put a foot wrong as they delivered a churning set of toe tapping indie gold. Instrument swapping, rabble rousing, feel good music delivered with impeccable timing and an overwhelming sense of handsome, My First Tooth are a stunning band. Honestly indie with an injection of country swagger, the Northampton four-piece transport you to a place where the your only worry is spilling your beer. Infectious and charming fall short in capturing the efflorescent beauty that My First Tooth exudes. Past Broadcasts sat midway through the set, yet it’s blend of sentiment, relevance and foresight alongside unforgettable couplets and catchy as sin good-nature made sure it was still nestled in your subconscious the following morning.

Arcane Roots justified and then outgunned their impressive reputation with a flawlessly brilliant show to a packed Old Blue Last. Riding a surge of vocal outpourings, Arcane Roots straddled this with their own bubbling intensity that turned and twisted, regularly destroying in a controlled explosion of smouldering riffs and popping breakdowns. Fret skipping, jangling guitar dances across the pillar-solid bass and floor shaking drums in a triumphant melding that’s both delicately intricate and fucking brutal.

The vocals match these contradicting attributes, providing hooks to cling onto as the turning tide of instrumental chaos threatens to obliterate. Floating and heartfelt before transforming to a menacing snarl or a soaring crescendo, the vocals are both beautiful and vicious with a constant intensity, delivered with an unwavering smirk with disgusting ease.

The set leant heavily on 2011’s Left Fire with You Are, Habibty and Million Dollar Question all sounding as rugged and dangerous as they ever have while new tracks Energy, Sacred Shapes and Second Breathe all managed to sound bigger; more furious, more vivacious and more menacing. The first single from their upcoming album, Resolve looked set to steal the show as it crackled with subdued personality before attacking with gargantuan bite, impaling and tossing upon the barbed horns that proudly crown the song.

Arcane Roots are a brilliant band. They’re a band who have grown in three hundred and sixty degrees to reach this point. A point where they can command a baying room with nothing but their music. Considered with intent and delivered with crushing force and arrow-straight aim, Arcane Roots are channelling the spirit of all your favourite bands, while sounding like no one else. It’s impossible not to lose yourself. At The Old Blue Last they took everyone away with them. I did not want to come back.


~ by justdip on 12/12/2012.

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