For day two of Sea Monsters, it’s the turn of DJs and promoters Teen Creeps to curate the show, pulling together a bill of bands that each set out to stretch guitar pop in different directions, sometimes to breaking point.
Great Pagans are first up, striking into zippy opener ‘Not Been Myself Lately’ as the room starts to fill. The intricate patterns of their recent Anti-Ghost Moon Ray tape shine tonight, complementing the melodic songcraft honed during their apprenticeship as Duke Raoul. A confident, relaxed performance finally releases its energy for the fizzing riffs of ‘Teenage Silhouettes’. Softly spoken they may be, but Great Pagans have it in them to go far.
Tigercub are up next, the rhythm section of the trio a curious hybrid of glam drummer and hirsute bassist. However, it’s frontman Jamie Hall’s ‘Goo’ tee that points to Tigercub’s grunge pop credentials, born of the 90s rock boom; that and his serendipitous resemblance to a handsome young Chris Novoselic (from our perch at the back of the room, at least). Tigercub mix super tuneful Nirvana nuggets with low down T.Rex struts and are pretty damn irresistible. “You’re so pretty!” yelps a besotted woman down the front. “Aye, thanks pet” Hall replies, in the manner of someone who may have heard this before, but still appreciates it. Bless them.
Things are heating up in the room for the much fancied Traams, a taut, wiry trio by way of Chi town. Traams channel a clattering motorik garage sound, all tensed muscle repetition and strangled vocal treble. The group rapidly build a full head of steam, pulling spirals of nagging, ragged guitar lines out of the mix. The rapid pace of ‘Flowers’ and hypnotic drive of ‘Klaus’ go down strongly, while the succinct ‘Peggy’ proves they can knock out the odd effortless pop scrawl too. A definite win.
Last on are Sea Monsters psych veterans Negative Pegasus, who effectively lay waste to everything that’s preceded them. Strafing the crowd with an opening salvo of churning pedal noise, the trio’s gears begin to grind and soon the air in front of the stage is starting to melt. With impressive casualness, drummer Carla Foss holds the beat down through each lengthy acid excursion, as her bandmates howl their way through the thundering fuzzstorm. Negative Pegasus have some zonked out songs buried under the noise assault, and they deliver them like a snowplough through our frontal lobes. There’s no way back from this mindfuck. Total wipeout, until the next night.
Prince Albert, Tuesday 22nd January 2013
Words by Stuart Huggett
Photos by Simon Brice