Guile + Dakota Beats @ The Rainbow, 25th March 2011

Although Detroit Social Club were headlining, I wanted to focus on the local support bands (See October 2010 for DSC review).

An effervescent, brief opening set from Dudley-based five piece, Dakota Beats, celebrated a deliciously tight, young band oozing songwriting potential. And no more so obvious that with the exquisite set closer ‘Come Home’, a crafted little gem with soaring optimism and melodic insistency. Watch this space.

Setlist: Back To Me, Mary Jayne, Fire Desire, When The Fires Fly, Runaway, Sir Frank James, Come Home.

Ever wondered where the tears of cast-out broken down angels collect? Look no further than Guile’s set list. It’s writ large with ‘in your face’, big and bold blood red capitals. Titles like ‘YOU KILL, WE DREAM’ and ‘LIES AGAINST HELL’ are surely testament to their Black Country Heavy Metal antecedents. But, it’s far away from cock-rock spandex preening. This is a band whose gratifying, grumbling menace, barely contained anger-management, broods with seething intensity.

They’re loud with taut, rib-kicking songs of surprising brevity with guitar/vocals from Neal ‘I gargle on razor-blades’ Sawyer providing sepulchral psychedelic grind-warps. ‘Lies Against Hell’ has a Bo Diddly canter meets Motorhead whilst in the background Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are colonically irrigating themselves with rocket fuel – again! American influences abound with swampy slide-guitars and psychotic hoe-downs stirring up all manner of mongrel bastard offspring. Some sniff The Doors, the band give a nod to Oasis, for me there’s early Jefferson Airplane and a whacking wasphive head-butt drone from Wooden Shjips just for good measure. Closing song, ‘Alone On The West’ sees Sawyer unsling his killer-app guitar and hang on for grim mercy at the mic as John Sawyer, guitar, and bassist, Adam Shaw, crank up the white-noise generators. Meanwhile, Gaz Slater, unleashes a demonic drum apocalypse worthy of Satan scratching his balls with a JCB. Signed to fledgling Indie label, Salvation, they’ve nailed their hypnotic, chameleon colours firmly to the mast. Time to salute them: they’re going places.

Setlist:You Kill, We Dream, Lies Against Hell, Somewhere/Sometimes/Someone, Devil In Black, I Wish I Was Heartless, Deep By The Dockery, Alone On The West.

Review – John Kennedy

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