INME at The Relentless Garage

3 stars (out of 5)

0

inme_2007Thursday night at the Relentless Garage in Highbury and three bands on the bill. The venue is perfect for this kind of gig; wherever you stand you’ve got a pretty good view of the stage and the live sound is spot-on.

First band on are Zeroscape who appear to have invented the new genre of Canadian reggae metal. They hit the stage like a whirlwind and don’t ease up until the end of the set. An opening set when the audience are fanatical about the headliners can be incredibly difficult, but Zeroscape win them over by being incredibly energetic and incredibly good. Their version of the Bob Marley classic “Get Up, Stand Up” has to be heard to be believed. A great set which looks difficult to follow.

Second on the bill are Symphony Cult, who are a bit of a puzzle. Their intro music is too long and overblown, which isn’t a good omen for the set. Sound problems through the first 2 songs mean that the lead vocal is lost, which is a pity because Charlotte Lubbock has a fabulous voice. They don’t win the audience over in the same way as Zeroscape because they don’t adopt the same all-out approach to the gig. The band have been together for less than 2 years and may still be looking for the right direction; the band play very well and they have a charismatic and gifted singer but there’s definitely something missing.

Which brings us to INME, who are touring to promote their fourth album “Herald Moth”. The band take the stage to a rapturous welcome from a very partisan crowd. A couple of songs into the set, it feels like the arrangements are a bit stretched and that frontman Dave McPherson is trying a little bit too hard both instrumentally and vocally, which is explained later when he tells the audience about the road accident a few weeks ago which resulted in lead guitarist Ben Konstantinovic being unable to play. The INME fans don’t seem to be too bothered about by this, but it does leave a big hole in the overall sound.

Despite this, the band do all the rabble-rousing things that good live rock bands do and the fans absolutely love it although the fret-tapping solos are a bit overdone (probably as a result of the absence of the lead guitarist). The new material from “Herald Moth” which is dropped in to the set between the older anthems is very well received, particularly the new single. “Single of the Weak” is a great song which is already a live anthem and has the entire audience bawling “What’s that shit on the radio?” as if their lives depended on it.

It’s obvious that Dave McPherson loves what he does (and the fans love him), but the loss of the second guitar does leave a hole in the sound which the remaining three musicians struggle to fill. Overall, a pretty good rock night with two good bands (go and see Zeroscape if you get a chance) and one interesting prospect for the future.