TEAR TALK

  • +
  • Death at Sea
  • Kingsley Chapman & The Murder
War Room Records @ Scandinavian Church 10/1/15

In the purple-lit glow of the Scandinavian Church, KINGSLEY CHAPMAN & THE MURDER are brilliantly well suited to delivering a series of confessionals, albeit at ear-shredding volume. This outfit sees the erstwhile frontman of The Chapman Family move into more grandiose territory than the seething indie rock his previous underrated band specialised in. Opening with a vast, theatrical piece that almost touches ten minutes, the melodramatic flourishes hinted at by TCF are given full reign here. Bringing greater focus to the singer’s surprisingly effective baritone croon, the dark night of the soul lyrics are well matched by the gothic melodrama of the music. Draped with see-sawing violin accompaniments, the new material has more than a hint of Nick Cave’s doomy narratives about them; impressive stuff for a band yet to commit anything to record.

Taking to the stage to the strains of indie disco classic Rip It Up (and Start Again), DEATH AT SEA to some considerable relief have done nothing of the sort. Continuing to explore the rich seam of US indie rock that prospered in the early nineties, the quartet’s alternately tight/loose, sloppy/well-drilled sound is in fine fettle, despite their long absence from the gig circuit. Sea Foam Green, the track that first got them noticed back in (gulp) early 2012, opens proceedings. With Drag sounding predictably wonderful as ever alongside the A and B sides of last year’s excellent Glimmer b/w Shy Kids single, we have positive proof that Death At Sea are on robustly assured form.

With the congregation at full capacity come 10 pm, TEAR TALK take up position underneath the stained-glass windows. Unfortunately beset by technical gremlins at the top of their set, once the problems with recalcitrant sound equipment are ironed out, the quintet’s wintry missives hit the spot. With recent EP Ruins brilliantly capturing the band’s trademark approach of being poised at the exact point between defeatism and optimism, their elegiac minor-key synth pop translates well to the stage through spacious arrangements.

Lyrically well suited to the present season of lonely, rain-lashed pavements and street lamps reflected in gutters, the deep pop of Realise successfully pulls off the same sighing ennui live as on record. Two promising new cuts make their debut appearance here too: Hotel pulses with a more pronounced electronic feel than previous material, while accompanying flipside Home maintains the five-piece’s fondness for a deep-rooted melody. With the EP and single formats now mastered meanwhile, the appearance of the quintet’s debut LP on the horizon will hopefully be imminent.

RELATED
CURRENT ISSUE Bido Lito! Issue PLAYLIST