Live Review: S.C.U.M

23 Feb

Green Door Store:  Tuesday, February 21 2012.

This time last year, S.C.U.M singer Thomas Cohen probably dreamed of being on the cover of the NME’s first edition of 2012.

Instead, he was plastered across the front of Hello. Needless to say, this wasn’t because his London five-piece released one of 2011’s best debut albums – the dark yet devilishly addictive Again Into Eyes – but because his other half, Peaches Geldof, is expecting their first baby.

Thankfully, anyone concerned that his new-found glossy mag “fame” would distract him and his band from the day job would have had their fears soothed by this performance.

There was certainly no slacking, even if the end results were somewhat mixed.

At their peak, they were an exhilarating watch. Opener Days Untrue was more primal than on record, a blistering statement of intent with ear-ringing bass and majestic synths. Likewise, Faith Unfolds, with its dense wall of sound yet melodic undertones, showed why they are deemed heirs to The Horrors’ grand doom-pop throne. For his part, Cohen has clearly mastered the look of languid cool from the frontman guidebook, a skill which leaves him seemingly oblivious to the cacophony of noise around him.

It’s a useful trait, because some of us wanted to switch-off when the middle of their set succumbed to a succession of drone-like dirges; a series of seething psychedelic masses from which the vocals and melodies were practically indecipherable.

Thankfully they ended in the same vein as they started, with former singles Amber Hands and Whitechapel combining greater urgency with towering waves of synths, regimental drumming and hypnotic vocals.

This set may have been a damp squib in places, but it contained enough moments of class to show why scum usually rises to the top.

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