28 June 2012

Taking me back

At least for Fats Homicide’s first set, I felt I’d been taken back to jam bands of the ‘70s: guitar based trios; rock rhythms at medium and slow 4/4 tempos; guitar or bass solos with effects; limited structure and dynamics. The effects were more sophisticated (I liked an arpeggiator, and the synth and echos were extreme and interesting) and the playing was better (these are all trained players, after all), but the outcome (and I guess the intent) was similar. I liked it well enough but it's not so much a current interest. The fact that 2XX was recording just seemed to fit this scene and even some faces seemed new. But then the last tune of the first set was different: a sweet ballad was a delightful change and it set up for a very different second set. It started with a nice waltz drum feel with a descending bass pattern and lovely distorted guitar melody and solo. Matt is a lovely guitarist, and I enjoyed several fuzzy, sustained guitar solos during the night, and his leads and feels were always suited for the tunes and nicely leading, in the way that voices lead. Simon dropped in lots of chords in this format and some rabid effects which I loved but could hardly identify with the bass. I particularly liked one small, simple passage of pure Precision-bass styled tone but it was rare (he was playing with lots of effects and distortion), and also some nice riffs that gave more rhythmic solidity to the music. The bass chords filled out the sound, but I preferred the definition and openness and rhythmic form of the riffs. They played a country rock beat with tremolo guitar playing blues licks with sparse bass chords which was lovely, but I wasn’t too keen on its descent into metal distorted repeating quarter-note bass. Then more metal with syncopated bass riff. Kay was obviously having a good time on this and this was infectious. There were smiles going around with the audaciousness of it all.

So what of Fats? It’s got its rough, brash side and that joy in extravagance but there’s also order and even sweetness peeping through at times. Not sure they’d want to admit it, though. Fats Homicide are Matt Lustri (guitar), Simon Milman (bass) and Kay Chinnery (drums) and I expect they will appear sometime soon on 2XX.

No comments: