Live Review: Falloch – Glasgow

Glaswegian post-metallers impress at first hometown headline

There’s an oddly intense sense of anticipation as the hundred-odd punters that’d fill Nice N’ Sleazy’s low-ceilinged basement pile inside this evening. Odd partly as it’s 8pm on a fairly chilled Glaswegian Sunday, the normally bustling Sauchiehall St having gone dormant in anticipation of Monday’s resumption of trade.

Odd more so as tonight’s headliners deal in an abstruse blend of warmly Celtic post-metal, eschewing both the populist savagery of modern “scene” contemporaries and the indulgent, chin-stroking meander of their post-rock brethren.

Suplex The Kid hit the stage early to silence the excited mumbles with a wall of instrumental sound that probes with moments of protrusive, almost-deafening volume before subsiding out into more textural soundscapes. They’re a remarkably vibrant opening act; their music thrusting confidently into open territory somewhere between the direct, primal power of early Mogwai and the more fleet-footed adventure of 65daysofstatic.

The titanic shadow of Mogwai looms heavily on Thula Borah too, though their carefully-measured vocals and slightly more riff-oriented sound edge them closer to the mainstream.

That’s no criticism when they weave these elements into a such a beautifully hypnotic whole; driving beats counterpointed by a lightness of touch that lends their overall impact a sense of cool positivity, peaking in momentary euphoria.

Falloch Live Review Glasgow

The lights drop for a third time this evening and Falloch are onstage. The droning portent of the intro tape stirs with something like unease but – though this band wear their black metal influences on their sleeve – there’s little real darkness in the sounds that follow.

Drawing from a palette of bog browns, pale sky blues and sunset gold, Falloch channel their Celtic influences to evoke the beautiful desolation of the Scottish north. Rather than reversion to Eurocentric folk-metal jiggery this is a band with the confidence to let their sounds sprawl organically, cruxing thematically on subtle but deliberate folk-music inflections and spiralling outwards into a hazily original whole.

This is music with a delicate balance. Moments of screeching feedback and occasionally overpowering percussion threaten to derail the fluidity of the set where heavier or more straightforward acts would easily power through. Yet it’s that intricate delicacy that transcends Falloch’s appeal beyond the normally exclusive black-tee brigade.

It’s an appeal that’s only set to grow too as these brilliant young musicians continue to wring shades of beauty. And though they exhaust the relatively narrow melancholia of debut LP Where Distant Spirits Remain within sixty minutes this evening, their inevitable, grander success is beckoning clearly just beyond the horizon.

For more info:
Suplex The Kid
Thula Borah