Zombie Prom Club -
The Physicists, Drunk Granny, Fatal Taunt, Multi Storey Earthworm -

Newport TJ's 14/11/06

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."

Milton was wrong. There's no dreaming yourself away to an imaginary paradise when the likes of Multi Storey Earthworm are on stage. There's no escape. No vocals, lots of gazing at the floor, directionless hippie guitar-noodling and
beards. BEARDS. (When I rule the world, bands with beards will be taken outside and shot without trial -- but that's a whole other rant.) Honestly, this sort of thing is fine in the privacy of one's own garage, but subjecting the rest of us to it is just plain cruel.

After that, you'd have thought things could only get better. And you'd be right, but not by much. It's doubtful whether the world has ever needed to hear Meatloaf fronting a sixth-form Metallica tribute band, but thanks (if that's the right word) to Fatal Taunt, it has. There's obviously a fair amount of talent in the band -- powerful vocals and some pretty decent guitar work -- but it's wasted on this kind of derivative faux-angsty tripe. A couple of audience members actually spend most of the set with their fingers in their ears, which probably tells you as much as you need to know.

Thank heavens, then, that Drunk Granny (above) are here to save us. Their wonky trash-punk is one of the local riot grrrl underground's greatest secrets - deafening guitar-squalls, Poly Styrene vocals and unearthly wails of violin, all played with more gleeful energy than technical competence. Which is exactly how it should be. Lyrically, they mix twisted humour with a righteous rage that all the sound problems in the world can't quell. Top outfits, too.

Instead of advertised headliners Vinyl Stickons, we get The Physicists, another Cardiff gang who deal in relentless filth-noise. It's a welcome blast of fury to finish off the night - a bit like Cay doing unmentionable things to the Pixies - and helps clear away the last memories of the early half of the gig. All's well that ends well…

Jessica Trash