February 28, 2004 in Blog

Live Review: Paper Cut Out, The Killing Spree, Yakuza @ Errigle, Belfast

The Killing Spree are up first tonight and they never disappoint.  Sounding like a pissed-off Shellac, they rattle through half an hour’s worth of discordant, start-stop, quiet-loud post-hardcore.  They describe themselves as “a punch to the face” and rightly so, as any of their songs could easily be the soundtrack to a fight scene.  A few shifty looks between them suggest tonight hasn’t been the tightest set they’ve ever played, but it is certainly one of the most entertaining.

Yakuza are tonight’s second band and they seem to play a lot of new songs;  a lot of it seems unfamiliar territory to me.  They calm things down slightly, but not too much – offering us more melody than The Killing Spree, but with equal intensity.  If you don’t know what they sound like, references to Sonic Youth, Gang Of Four and The Minute Men are commonplace, yet their sound is very much their own.  Highlights include Ronan’s fancy foot-work and the alleged ‘Dance Competition Winner’ attempting handstands and failing, miserably.

Paper Cut Out, then.  An unknown package from Newcastle, England.  Having only released two songs thus far on 7” via Jealous Records, this is a relatively new band which has burst onto the post-punk scene of late, forming from the ashes of Skip Day Toner.  First song is a short sharp burst of spazzy, jazzy, off-kilter post-punk – immediately afterwards the crowd turn and look at each other as if to say “whoa..what was that?!”.

It’s obviously something special.  To say this band have stage presence would be doing them an injustice, these guys have venue presence. Constantly moving and intensely passionate.  They’re rocking out and they’re loving it. So are we.  I can’t think of a valid comparison for their sound: a little Sweep The Leg Johnny, a little Fugazi, a little Gang Of Four. Fast, tight, innovative.  Astounding.  If only it’d lasted longer.  Clocking off after around 25 minutes, this is still one of the most enjoyable sets I’ve EVER seen.

*As originally published on BBC Across The Line – 28th Feb 2004*