Everything Else / The Mother’s Ruin, Bristol | 15th of January

Everything Else / The Mother’s Ruin, Bristol | 15th of January

Bristol is in the midst of its ‘Free For All’ festival, a month of free music which, this year, sees performances from over 150 artists. Now – that idea. It can’t really be called anything other than a wonderful incentive, can it? Moving to engage the city’s citizens with its fledgling and diverse music scene, 2018’s festival arrives largely from The Mother’s Ruin: a relatively small establishment, one of lightly scratched wooden beams and banisters, quirky posters, black-and-white checking on the bar. The performances on this occasion were upstairs, a smallish area with some seats dotted around. Its capacity with significant squeezing probably around 50.

It is loud in there.

On the 15th I went to see Everything Else (that is the band name). I caught the back end of support no.1 (I guess the aforementioned three-piece were support no.2, depending on how you value set-times and prominence). Support no.1 were a heavy rock outfit called Dead Kids. Their final track was about an alcoholic. The fellow on the drums had the most outlandish energy keeping up the frantic beat.

They said their thanks, expressed their praise for the festival format, sipped their beers and cleared the area.

Three younger guys took to the stage and started prepping their instruments. Everything Else consists of a bassist, a drummer and lead guitar/singer.

Their first song set the tone, a tone they didn’t deviate from all so often. High tempo rock. ‘Is anyone out there, I feel so alone’ was perhaps the only lyric from the track I could firmly discern. The lead singer does not have a bad voice by any stretch. It is perhaps without great nuance. This was itself perhaps not helped by the sheer volume of the instruments (which I am aware is a necessity in the genre). Either way, many of the lyrics were rendered inaudible. The style of music was enjoyable though, and different from my usual listening trends, which actually served to heighten my intrigue. This intrigue took me again to the drummer, who was sporting a leopard print fur jacket. The challenge for the drummer becomes apparent at such a pace, and this one handled the gig really well. Great ability and, vitally, great presence. Some lost time during the early tracks but always well recovered. The jacket came off after the first number.

My review will have to be quite generic, primarily on account of each of their songs having a similar sound to them. A nice riff and ride cymbal combo kicked off the second, soon transitioning to morose, anthemic rock. An odd combination but an oft successful one. Their sound had a Blink feel to it. That’s not a comparison per se, such a statement would be flattering, but the influence was evident in the words and in the playing.  The words themselves: largely simple, a trope that suits them just fine as they start out but could do with work and manipulation. A line in track two was ‘I wanted us to be together’, another contained ‘don’t need you anymore’. Though delivered well, some of these lines didn’t sound convincing. I think that might be my consensus here.

The bassist was talented too. His voice was scarce used but was sweeter, higher. A later track saw him exchange passages with the lead in a pleasant slower period offered up and intersected by the heavier sound. The lead – sporting a Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes t-shirt – started that same track sounding real good. His voice, for now at least, lends itself more to those contemplative, altogether more controlled episodes. Another track started with a sweet guitar rhythm and developed into a swing-like affair. A minute down the line it prompted nods of the head with further fierce intent. This variation in tempo and style came out toward the back end of their half-hour set. Another number had a ska groove with elements of Madness to it, save the horns and keys. It was a fun song. Once more, though, it refused to ignore major crescendos, cacophonies of noise. A chanted hook of ‘don’t track me down’ accompanied these familiar phases. There was, mind, an elusive element to the track. Similarly, the final (most impressively thoughtful) song nicely offset the majority of the set. Stripped back moments layered with quick lyrics reminded me for just a split second – and a pleasant one – of ‘Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner’. A cork tree remnant. An ode, a seed. High armed snare driving through. It wasn’t a long performance, but within it there were brief signs of strong original material. With thought – and with time – that will only develop.

The three of them are strong musicians. They are youthful, full of passion and, perhaps as a result, presently unrefined. Above all else, Everything Else have promise.


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