Tides Of Man

support High Rise + Idle States + Vasudeva
author CEM date 30/08/14 venue The Relentless Garage, London, UK

Drizzle ensues as a crowd of five stand anxiously outside the entrance to the upstairs section of the Relentless Garage. Moments of declined eye contact metaphorically express doubts of a good turn out. We scour the venues exterior for information on the gig as we slowly drift into the conclusion that we quite possibly might have arrived on the wrong day. To our delight the doors swing open at exactly 7 and we slowly wade ourselves through the entrance. My roommate and I are greeted by Tides of Man drummer Josh and get ourselves settled with a couple of ice cold Stella's. To our surprise the promotion company that was behind the gig had added two British supporting acts, albeit bands I had never had the pleasure of listening to.

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High Rise

High Rise tread on the stage for their third show after a two year hiatus. A common displacement that happens to most UK bands after college but they seem to have found ample motivation to continue. An energetic singer tries his best to involve one of the smallest crowds I have ever witnessed in London. Relatively good screams, very a la Liferuiner and clean vocals that can't exactly be complained about decimate the cosmos of the near vacant venue. Decent song structure collaborates well with thought out transitions, although the breakdowns are a little generic and used up at times. They could use a bit more practice but are overall tight musicians. If musical style was a factor, their implementation of 2001 metalcore (As I lay dying etc.) feels forced and unnecessary. Lyrics fall into a similar category of metalcore and come off as layman's prose (she took my life away etc.). The nervous guitarists seem fearful of motion, but get into it after the second song, though not as much as you would expect from a genre where stage presence is such an intricate element of creating atmosphere and displaying professionalism. A bit too “rise-core” (a term coined after fans began to realize a trend in mix similarity between Rise Records bands) at some points but they mix interesting hardcore, nu metal and pop-punk elements.

Idle States

Idle States seem more rehearsed and provide listeners with soulful pop-rock serenades similar to what a male led Paramore might sound like. Back-up vocals are contributed by both guitarists and need a couple of tracks to fall into harmony. A section mid-set reveals a solemn punk-rock act that have yet to capitalize on a somewhat impressive sound that threads intros and interludes into a very listen-able 30 minutes. An issue, however, is when the climactic moments kick in where leads and chords become muddy. The fear of being too loud in front a crowd so small is evident at certain points and is noticeable by guitarists Matt Truseler and Russ Tyler's unintentional hesitance. Harmonies are handled with care after a sense of comfort is established and are clearly practiced. Nothing here is too unique though and Idle States sound very replicative of UK acts like Young Guns, Lower Than Atlantis and Mallory Knox.

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Vasudeva

Vasudeva are a trio of two guitarists and a drummer from New Jersey that seem far more confident than their appearance implies. The left guitarist, with the tightest shoulder strap I have seen in years, taps frantically with precision as the right grooves through jazz and disco chords using the syncopated drummers off-beat snare rips as measurement. The whole band bobs their heads to their majestic overtures as their entrancing ambiance fills every crevice of the room. The bass is backing tracked, which in a way removes some of the live essence or oomph you were hoping for. They seem an incredibly talented band but for some reason the guitars become mysteriously quiet at certain points so detailed analysis of the tapping passages is extremely difficult. In terms of gig atmosphere the Garage has filled up a lot more at this point so cheerful smiles are fortunately abundant. Nonetheless, too many anti-climatic build ups end up leaving the audience disinterested in the search for their dancing shoes, which isn't something I would assume the band would be too worried about though. Their album “Life In Cycles” is spot on and could not possibly have sounded any closer to the recorded version. At points I notice guitar leads have been looped using pedals, which to me reassures the point that these guys committed to their chemistry as a trio. One of the guitarists had apparently not come to the realization that England is actually part of Europe though (mentions their heading to Europe in a couple days) but no one seems to call him out for being ignorant.

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Tides of Man

Tides of Man stride to the stage carrying very little, but sparking more confusion was the fact that one of them began to sing. Two tracks of Scripts-inspired mellow American pop-rock are projected unto a less than enthusiastic crowd. Not that they didn’t enjoy it but it's just that this is a band that has recently released a fully instrumental LP and have absolutely no interest in including a vocalist into their current arrangement. Turns out he was a fellow Floridian who was only helping them by being third guitarist, they were just nice enough to let him play some of his own stuff first. Basically playing “Young and Courageous” from start to finish when their real set commences - minus two songs somewhere in between the pauses - and the first song is naturally the introductory slow ballad of organic delays and reverbs. Any preconception that the set would sound like an elongated interlude are crushed by an ultimately devastating climax around three minutes into their show. The three guitarists always allow the risk of sounding out of tune by swinging their instruments in pendulum but every single note hits pitch perfection. The music flows from the speakers into the audience like it was just meant to be. Even on a tiny stage these guys can jam your socks off and while I fear I might loose my hearing at this point I could honestly not care less... The sound seemed to be catching everyone completely off guard and all the instruments seem to work so well together its almost unfair to the other bands playing tonight. The venue is nearly full at this point, which is an unexpected feat considering the few surreptitious folk that were present at the start.

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