Dead Confederate – Hoxton Bar and Grill, London 01/12/2009

December 9, 2009 by  

Dead Confederate

Playing punishing shoegaze is normally the preserve of moody northern types brought up on council estates in satellite towns, not plaid clad Americans yielding unruly facial hair. Yet many seem to forget that before Kurt Cobain infiltrated MTV his American luminaries Husker Du and Dinosaur Junior were making as much distorted noise as all of those moody northeners, but in an altogether more direct way. Dead Confederate seem to fall somewhere between the two, mixing the dream pop elements of British shoegaze with the course visceral moments of early ?90s grunge and alternative rock.

Dead Confederate?s blend of grunge and shoegaze has recently seen them grab support slots with fellow guitar distortion obsessives Sleepy Sun and J Mascis of the mighty Dinosaur JR, and on the strength of tonight’s performance it was easy to see why.

Behind the fog that veiled the stage from the view of the packed crowed at the Hoxton Bar and Grill the Georgia group played an unrelenting set which shook the foundations of the venue. Every pluck of Brantley Senn’s bass sent reverberations through the floor, which literally shook the pint held in your hand, as Walker Howle’s guitar weaved rich overdrive laden tapestries.

Throughout, the band trod the fine line between grunge and shoegaze, mixing obscenely distorted heavy bass lines and swirling guitars, which seemed to reach increasingly dizzying heights with each subsequent song, with the deep southern tongue of lead singer Hardy Morris. The combination is compelling and powerful, no more so on ‘The Rat’, which draws you into an indie-rock lull before the driving ‘Bang Bang’ chorus, backed up by an abundance of visceral distortion, leaves you gasping for air. ‘Yer Circus’ constantly tilted on the unimaginable, while the bass driven ‘All the Angles’ left most of the crowed firmly plastered to the floor.

Their deep southern droll might sound out of step with the current scene, but their live show is an unrelenting performance which will leave you speechless.

By Chris Cummins