Penguins Kill Polar Bears/Cubrik @ The Boileroom, Guildford 23.05.11

Tonight's event at The Boileroom stumbles around over the genres of math rock and indie rock. A night of 4 bands including headline act Penguins Kill Polar Bears, so is there a chance of fail?

May 23rd, 2011 at The Boileroom, Guildford / By Joshua Edwards
Cubrik In short YES...

The first band to kick off the evening is Guildford quartet Atiptoe (who only these past few months have incorporated a vocalist) with a technically brilliant start to the night. Giving off a professional and confident sound; the tweaks needed, sadly lie in the vocals; the baritone lacks the power and audacity that some bands like This Town Needs Guns or Minus the Bear create. However the clever hooks and riffs rarely go a miss; the works of the guitar and bass combination leave you impressed. But in full sight of the band as a spectator the impression the band creates is less a teenage angst vibe, and more that the band are simply four individual musicians playing together.

Second on the bill, freshmen band From Forests move the stage into a new direction. From Forests create a new kind of portrayal - a somewhat "Made In Chelsea" arrogance that can deter listeners away from their ambient, melodramatic style. Impressive bounces and vocal melodies delight the ears, and shouldn't be left at minimal capacity. As they continue their short set, it's extremely difficult not to wander off, the lack of dynamics and tempo change make the audience loose interest in the songs.

Third on the line up are math rock connoisseurs and stage athletes Cubrik. Beginning their set with a heavily distorted, drum bashing, bass flowing creation that some dedicated followers may call "God's Music" certainly ups the ante to the mundane performances previously. Prime stage presence and beads of sweat flying over the stage needn't be taken as an exaggeration. The pure energy provided by the aura of the band is well and truly phenomenal. Presenting themselves onstage as an isosceles triangle rather than scalene, shows that Cubrik hath no fear in the region of the audience's judgmental stares upon their individual technical ability. Acrobatic lunges and jumps from lead singer and sole guitarist Tom Docherty lead brothers James (drummer), and Dan (bassist) into a frenzy. Though Dan struggled to conjure up some movement at the beginning of the set, this all changed with newly released song 'Clockwork'. Ending their set as they started with a superior stature, it's clear why this band were picked for this gig.

Headliners Penguins Kill Polar Bears fail to take the stage by storm this eve; it seems placing your bassist dead central leaves the ambiguous decision as to whether he is a vocalist or not? Well, as seen during the set, he neither sets out to interact with his fellow members, nor does he "Shiftay Vu" or "Move please". Not all would be bad if the guitarists - stood either side of the caboose that is their bassist - joined their rhythm section’s ‘8th wonder of the world’. But leaving him to his solo pleasures and unnecessary amount of pedals was terribly decided. Sadly, the bassist takes the audience's mind off the music and leaves this headliner indescribable in their music.