Two Piece Puzzle

 

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Live. Blood Red Shoes, DZ Deathrays, Slaves
22nd April 2014. Nottingham Bodega.

“For a two-piece, they make a lot of noise.”

For most two-piece bands, they ground their sound in making up for the missing instruments. Their music is an apology for the lack of Bass guitar. They’re aware they’re lacking, and they play accordingly. Two-piece dreams. Two-piece aspirations.

There’s a scattering of bands that exist beyond their means though. Two members. No apologies. Blood Red Shoes. DZ Deathrays. Slaves. You couldn’t ask for more.

Slaves have always said they’re a band that needs to be seen live. Their garage-punk twists with the added venom that eye contact provides. The abrupt vocals bark, with the threat of bite. “We’re going to take you on a journey through tempo.” They promise. Glint in the eye. It’s this stage presence, this contrast between light-hearted storytelling and relentless music flow, which make Slaves such endearing performers. The sense of reckless abandon a giddy side effect.

It’s charming punk with a message. Effortless charisma and a reminder that just because they’re shouting, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun.

DZ Deathrays started at a house party. Rumour has it, that they’ll end at one too. Tonight though, the Australian duo are constant professionals. Gearing up to release their second album, Black Rat, DZ Deathrays play a sleek set of thrash anthems. Striking a balance between light and dark, DZ Deathrays sound like they’ve survived the night and have a horizon to aim for. The newer material is more complex; more engaging but still has the visceral want at its core. The party isn’t over; it’s just outgrown the basement and has taken to the streets.

Blood Red Shoes are married to the game. That’s apparent from the moment they walk on stage, to the moment they begrudgingly leave. And, as with all marriages, it’s about the chemistry. The chemistry between Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, fraught with tension, held together by brotherhood, is a most beautiful thing. They play like every moment should be treasured, like every note holds a secret that needs to be shared. Distorted and scuzzy, Blood Red Shoes make sense of the darkness. Known for their honesty, their intensity, and their hard work, Blood Red Shoes somehow communicate these truths through their music. The material from their self-titled fourth album is raw with the confidence that it was created with, and time has not taken away from their base instincts. They unite the outskirts. Anthems for those lost in a generation.

With a two-piece, you have nowhere to hide. Total reliance. Unspoken trust. Everything. That relationship is at the forefront of every performance. You can’t fake it. You have to embrace it. Slaves. DZ Deathrays. Blood Red Shoes. It doesn’t need to be said, but all three bands have taken what it means to be a two-piece to refreshing new heights. They make a lot of noise, but when you’ve got something worth shouting about, shout about it.

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~ by justdip on 30/04/2014.

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