Stone City Smaaks Them Lank

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Nothing compares to tea.

In amongst the carnage that was Sunday night at Splashy Fen, a distinct tish-tish doof-doof could be heard in the distance, giving it some electro horns. That was Redflecks. Suffice to say, Saturday night was such heavy going that no bands were seen, but Redflecks sounded great. Fire Through The Window, mercifully having played the Saturday night, were seen, and they did a fine line in surf rock, which of course evokes comparisons to the Pixies and Violent Femmes. Kinda makes sense, when you consider they’re from Durban Stone City, Homeland of Surf. Bru. Redflecks, however, are from Nashville, Tennessee; yessiree, down south where they makes whiskey and eats grits. And to a certain extent you can see the difference in the professionalism of their performance. OK, maybe a little harsh but there’s a grain of truth there – Redflecks are polished, the result of performing together since 2005. Lead singer Amy has an accomplished voice and her cohorts do a fine line in supporting her with solid bass, keys and lead backing. They give some angst, some anger, some moody and dreamy Stereolab-ish groove, and it’s all good, but perhaps the student crowd weren’t exactly attuned to the nuances of their show. In any case, it was Fire Through The Window that wiped the floor at the Willowvale on Friday. Make no mistake – Redflecks (who played support, along with 5men3missing) were great in an indie-electro-pop kinda way, but there was a palpable surge of interest (and kamikaze crowd surfing – the Willowvale’s ceiling fans are head-loppingly low) when Durban’s Next Big Thing took to the stage. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re local, and have built up quite a head of steam as they’ve shunted to prominence in the last 6 months, maybe it’s the fact that all the band members have, at some stage, been in other Durban bands, or maybe it’s the resonance their sound has with the previously mentioned SoCal surf sounds.

Maybe it’s just the disarming perky charm of foxy lead singer Sinead and her rather Frank Black-ish partner in rhyme, Marc. Who can say? The crowd at the Willowvale, that’s who – they bounced, they howled, shit – they sang along to every chorus. FTTW, they’re not rock in the sense of thrash and they’re not pop like the candyball cheese that gets lapped up by pre-pubescents on MTV. Highlight of their show? Musta been the uptempo cover of 'Nothing Compares To You', which sounds....deadly. They’ve a sound and lyric something like The Beautiful South, which bears comparison on the grounds of the call-and-response of the lead duet, but also because of the upbeat licks and straight-down-the-line rhythms and beats. Which is fair enough, because the combo works, and Stone City punters, they smaak them lank.

This review also published on Levi's Music Mag.

2 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous April 10, 2008 at 9:52 PM
    great blog, added it to my rss reader. keep writing
  2. hedmekanik April 11, 2008 at 7:58 AM
    Hey, thanks. I intend to keep at it. Have a good weekend.


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