Monday, December 1, 2008


This past weekend , I visited UNDERGROUND 73, making it the first time I've ever done back to back UNDERGROUNDS. Membership? This particular UG marked the end of a relationship with CiXi as a venue for the showcase of our home grown music talents. Six bands on the line up, six different sounds, and six more Asahi's please bartender.

Alternative Rockers Noir had the task of opening up this mammoth evening with their catchy hooks and driving guitars. Their six song set had a mix of both English and Mandarin songs, and just to make things more interesting. They had a go at playing one of my favourite songs from Muse : “Time is running out.” Noir did a good job of trying to get the UGoers in the mood for a gig by screaming a demand to come forward. Lets ignore the fact that possibly two people shifted slightly, it was the effort that counts. Noir have enough grit on the guitars to keep it heavy , while the vocals are kept melodic. A good way to start out the eclectic selection of music for the evening.

Next on the bill were the quantum Alternative Metal band (yup I create my own genres now) : Eccentric. I say alternative metal as the backing music is pretty heavy with metal elements, while the voice of gorgeous singer Kiki, kept the music pretty accessible. Think Evanescence. Eccentric have a rock solid rhythm section with one of the best drummers of the night, and a bassist who rocked a solo. While we're mentioning capabilities, the guitarist demonstrated his skills with a great solo in the third song. Speaking of guitarists, and this may sound a little queer, but I was momentarily in awe of this rockers immaculate straight long hair. If Herbal Essence started a marketing campaign for metal guitarists, they should hook this dude up for the posters. Back to the music though, Eccentric played a well thought out set with songs flowing from one to the next, complete with tight breakdowns and even started the nights first mosh pit. Did I mention the gorgeous lead singer?

If I had to point out at what point in the night the party started, it would probably have to be during the 30 minutes or so these gents from Lamma took the stage. Transnoodle either have a lot of friends, or a lot of fans (I suppose it's possible to have both), I say this because CiXi was packed when they rocked their set, and basically empty in comparison when they were done. Transnoodle were welcomed onto stage by the back pain plagued Chris B, (gotta love Facebook) who explained that the band used to do Metallica covers. True or not, I would like to see a ska version of “Enter Sandman,” Transnoodle, hook it up. From previous media on the Noodle, it seems that its one of those bands where the lineup could be between 2 and 20 at any time. If my memory serves me right, I counted one guitarist, one bassist, one drummer, one keys player, one horns player, and one hell of an entertaining front man. I've seen in some pictures a second guitarist though. Hmm? Transnoodles sound is a mix of punk reggae and ska. They are infectiously catchy. You look around the room and the people that weren't dancing were tapping their feet. I know I had a little rhythm dancing through my clogged veins. Moments that worked great for me were: the harmonies between the horns and the guitar. The current affair topics their songs were about. Referencing the Georgia invasion, and the vocalists dedication to “The bankers worried about losing their jobs”. The relationship they have with the audience is one full of love. So much love that Transnoodle were left with no choice but to play an encore. A+

Pouebelle International
I would not like to be any band having to follow the set Transnoodle played. However Poubelle International were definitely up to that task, and boy did they bring their A game. As PI were setting their levels, Chris B informs the eager audience that “the last time they played the UNDERGROUND, someone had sex on stage” Needless to say, if I had ears like a dog, they were stood at attention to that statement. Like Transnoodle, PI had brought their gang of buddies and or fans out. Sound check done, vocalist steps to the mic and questions “Are you ready?” before exploding into their 6 song set. For you classification Nazis, I guess you could say PI play garage indie pop rock. I always say its important for a band to remember they are there to perform to the paying gig goer, and a performance was without a doubt what we got. The matching outfits of white t shirts with the numbers 1,2,3 on the trio was a great touch. They also all wore matching Buddy Holly, black rimmed specs. They also seemed to have mates wearing black t shirts with the number 4 on , playing things like tambourines and shakers. PI have great dancy songs, where some even involve audience participation. In one song, the audience were asked “Who drinks Asahi?” to which the correct response was “I drink Asahi” (Heres me waving my fourth bottle in the air screaming F*** ya! Oops) Its obvious PI's preparation for the gig was well thought. That or they are just that damned good.

Eve of Sin
Lock away the young children, cause Eve of Sin , are to put it in one word. Brutal. They basically piss on every time I have described a band as heavy in this review. They are described as extreme metal. Even that seems too mellow for the wall of noise Eve of Sin produce. It goes without saying that the catchy segment for the evenings entertainment was well and truly over. The quintet consist of 2 guitarists, a bassist , a drummer (who also doubles up as a Stand Up Comic , Hi Vivek!) and a vocalist, or scream artist. I thought it was great that before they started their set, one of the guitarists nailed his beer before ripping into the riff of the opening song. Eve of Sin played a 5 song set of shredding, double kick drum assaults and soul piercing screams. I have to say though, for the heaviness of the music, I would have liked to seen the ax players rock out and tear shit up a hell of a lot more. No riot police were called out to this one, though bouncers did put an end to any moshing. On a side note, Eve of Sin have a really cool website :

With an emptying out CiXi, Thornslaughter took the stage about 1-1.30. This I have to admit, is a blatant estimation as by then, well, lets just say CiXi had run out of Asahi. Take one look at the name Thornslaughter and guess what kind of music they play. Yes sir, we have a second extreme metal band closing the nights bill. Unlike Eve of Sin, thorn slaughter actually have obvious structure to their songs. You can hear a beginning, a middle and an end. Sure its still shredding and machine gun sounding drums, but you can hear the musicality in it. And for that Thornslaughter get my props (like that really matters to them!) The bassist in this one was busting out the “I own shit” pose I mentioned in a couple of posts earlier, and looked great doing it. Another act with musicians great at their instruments, I wish I could play riffs that fast. Great job Thornslaughter.

All in all, one hell of a good night. Looking forward to the next underground which I believe is the last one for 2008. Jesus, where the hell did 2008 go?


1 comment:

Vivek Mahbubani said...

Thanks for the review and staying the night to check us out! :D

Oh and "hi!" back atcha :D