Admittedly, hump day can drain the life out of just about anyone. But when such an appealing line-up graces a venue like Underground, then you discard your mid-week blues and head out to bathe in the musical ecstasy, right? Apparently not. The venue was faced with as much life as a forgotten graveyard. But that didn’t stop three bands from dusting away the cobwebs and breathing some energy back in to it.
Opening were a group that I certainly need to see more of. Hypophora are Cornwall’s answer to Paramore – albeit with more passion and likeability – and they were undoubtedly eager to wow the handful of people that could bothered to attend.
Performing with a hearty stage presence, the band shone a beacon of colour into the venue with a noteworthy set that displayed their unique quirks. Undoubtedly stealing the limelight though was guitarist Karum Cooper, who has a sickening ability to turn his talented hands to anything musical. With his prominent presence amongst the local music scene, it begs one question: Is there anything he can’t do?
Next up were LTNT, an alternative three-piece who I can only describe as being the Marmite equivalent of the music world. I, fortunately, took to the positive side of the spectrum and adored every second of their twisty, experimental set.
Their energy was a form of head-banging hypnotic that sent chills down your spine, the vocals were a unique combination of crisp yet raw, and the guitar tones were the most delectable thing to enter my ears in a long time. It can take a lot for a band to sound as flawless as they do on record, but LTNT so effortlessly laughed at that theory and performed a set of quality, hard-hitting rock that should have been enjoyed by a sweaty, screaming audience.
Concluding the evening were The Hyena Kill, a fiery Mancunian two-piece, who performed heroically until they drowned in pools of their own perspiration.
From their inimitable and weighty sound you could tell that they take influence from the likes of Deftones, Nirvana and Tool. But instead of lazily pilfering the sounds outright, they’ve concocted their own blend of rock bliss making them something of great merit. I’d mildly stalked their YouTube channel beforehand to grasp a taste of what to expect, but I wasn’t in anyway prepared for the spectacle of roaring, grungy and tattered bliss that was delivered.
The most impressive feature to convey about their set would be their energy. Drummer Lorna Blundell battered through her snare drum in a trance of compulsive passion mid-song, while Steven Dobb philandered fiercely with his guitar and bawling vocals. I’ve never seen a band with such resistance against monotony, and I think it’ll be long while until I see another two-piece quite like them.
Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad