Motjiva

support Silence Of September + Temper Temper
author TL date 24/02/10 venue Rust, Copenhagen, DEN

*Sigh*. I know these are going to sound like lame complaints, but Wednesday was going to be my night off. For longer than I can remember (which these days is, granted, little over five minutes back in time), I have been juggling more metaphorical balls than my, just as metaphorical, dexterity allows, and many have been the nights that have been spent either studying for a re-take of an exam I foolishly failed, or being dragged to The Rock by people who know all to well that I don't know how to say no to a night of drinking. Hence I was actually looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet this night, all the way up until a message pops up on my phone..: "Tim, I need to get out, we're going to Rust to see Silence Of September when you get off from work!". God fuckin' dammit!

Temper Temper

Negative intro aside though, I'm not one to mope, so as soon as my friend and I have our first sips of beer and turn our attention towards the stage, I'm starting to feel that coming here was indeed a good decision. In fact, the only thing I'm now pissed about, is that I didn't arrive any sooner, because as it turns out, tonight's first band is one in which an old friend of mine plays drums, and I've been meaning to check them out live for ages - yet tonight, I've arrived too late to hear more than one and a half songs. From those songs, I'd say Temper Temper must've been a rather joyous listening experience, if not so much an exhilarating visual performance, what with their stuff hardly being the kind to which you destroy a stage. Good, catchy indie-rock tunes, spear-headed by a singer which on the spot defies most attempts at comparisons (in a good way) - albeit I do kinda want to say he sounds a tiiiiny little bit like David Bowie. Anyway, regardless of these small comments, less than two songs is of course not enough to warrant a review, so Temper Temper will have to excuse me for my lack of grading them, and hopefully forgive me as I recommend that you readers go check them out yourself some day

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Silence Of September

Now, if there is a reason I'm here tonight, Silence Of September would be it, as I've been seeing their name pop up here and there, and had them recommended to me by PP (who has a review of their debut LP pending). Our dear editor has told me that these boys have recorded some of the best screamo/post-hardcore to come from within Danish borders, so tonight I am hoping to see a band that I can instantly like and start hyping - With them somehow signing to Warner for the distribution of their album, quality should be guaranteed, right? Wrong, as Silence Of September quickly prove that as usual, me and PP can't agree on a damn thing when it comes to discussing what music is good and bad. First of all, SoS can never be p-h/screamo in my ears, rather they sound to me like metal ready-made for radio, mixed from tried-and-proven elements from a number of bands most modern music-fans tend to agree should've died in the 90's. Linkin Park, Hoobastank, Trapt, Cold and even Three Doors Down all come to mind, as this quartet comes on and starts engaging the crowd with an eagerness that is at least one admirable quality. They want us to clap along and they want us to clap along A LOT. Quickly though, I am surprised to find that a band of such a seeming momentum as SoS, struggle as they do with their vocal work. Frontman Nikola isn't doing bad per se, but he does sound slightly less potent than I remember him from the tracks I did manage to check out on myspace, a shame because it lets the band's bombastic expression down somewhat. Not so much though, as his friend Mirza's backing screams, while as enthusiastic as the band all together, sound severely technically lacking, which again detracts from the power they're supposed to express in the songs. In reality though, things could probably have sounded clear as crystal and I still wouldn't have liked SoS, because for each song I'm cringing my toes more and more, being faced with how disappointingly, predictably, and I'm tempted to say boringly, chorus oriented, over-inflated and flat out dated this music seems to me. I hate bashing a hard working local band, but I hate lying more, and I'd be lying if I recommended SoS to you based on tonight's performance. Perhaps if you still enjoy some of those bands I mentioned before or just music generally deserving of a label like radio metal then you can disagree violently and help SoS get where they want (many of the people towards the front probably will), but me, I must admit to being too much of an elitist douchebag to ever go for something like this. Sorry guys.

Motjiva

Now, I wasn't actually aware upon the night's opening that a third band was actually playing - surely, you're starting to grasp the impulsive nature of my being here - but as it turns out, my eyes and ears are also to be graced by Motjiva, a band I barely remember covering when they played in the Melody Makers Contest two years ago (Thank you Mirza, for reminding me). As the gig is opened intensely with frontman Henrik Ziegler singing impressively, while strumming his guitar in solitude on Rust's stage, the other singers of the night are easily blown out of the water (seriously, listen to "In The Dark We Flee" on the band's myspace), and this naturally gets him and his band my attention. Vocally, Ziegler lands somewhere in between Bono and Søren Huss (Saybia) in my mental map of singers, and with that figured out, I turn my attention to his band, which has arrived on stage and manifested the bands twangy, dusty, western-ish, eager-to-rock-out sound. At their best, Motjiva establish some really haunting atmospheres, sounding somewhat like U2, Simple Minds or indeed Saybia (I'm thinking of "These Are The Days" material here) and easily command your attention. However, there's something to them which periodically allows your mind to drift, and prevents the point from being driven all the way home, and in my optics, the problem is two-sided. One one hand, the band is a bit too eager to rock in a somewhat simple-minded sense of the word, and sometimes when they venture off into guitar-solo land, it's like the intensity of their otherwise thick moods is blown open for something that is unsatisfyingly light in comparison. That, and they seem to be a bit short for ideas when it comes to song writing, as it becomes increasingly easy to predict when that tempo change or solo is going to kick in - an "if it ain't broken, don't fix it", if not even a flat out "formulaic" approach is what seems to shine through here, and with the sounds this band wields, you feel that more could be achieved if they were more ambitious in this area. However, if for no other reason than Ziegler's pipes, Motjiva are still the most mesmerizing act on tonight's bill, and one I'd gladly appreciate again on some other casual night, over some other cold pint.

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