Bong, Organ Freeman, Womb, Elk Blood
Flooring the crowd at the Islington Mill was a captivating line up, boasted by the first event of the year from Manchester’s own Other Sounds Society. As could be expected of an offering by champions of the alternative, the acts chosen were indeed original and enthralling.
First to perform were Elk Blood, whose woozy guitar based psychedelia provided a promising opener for the evening. Singer Edwin’s visceral rasp, reminiscent of Joe Strummers trademark impassioned sneer, complimented the musical energy well.
Next up were all-female open collective Womb, wielding an abrasive atonal sound that could inspire somebody to liken them to no-wave, although this is clearly a band that cannot be pigeonholed. Having a penchant for the experimental, the guitar was played with what looked like an animal bone, and so harrowing was their piercing chorus of wails that a fire alarm set off mid-way through their set was not noticed for some time; the crowd eventually dispersing when they were informed that that obscure blare was not actually part of the act.
Something a little less intense next from Organ Freeman and, as the pun would suggest, this party-pop outfit were playful to say the least. From a dance involving mass belly-poking to flashing balloons, renditions ranging from Ke$ha to ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, there was no negative talk amongst those who caught these guys live.
To finish were Boom, doom-lords of Newcastle, gracing the stage for their second outing in Salford. Their extremely intense meditative wall of noise seemed to polarise opinion within the audience; perfectly expressed in the few up front flailing their limbs and bathing in the otherworldly sound-scape of endless drone, while others walked out unsure as to what the fuck they had just witnessed.
Despite this, I think it is safe to say that the evening was a success, and everybody there enjoyed the chance to experience new artistry at its finest.
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