Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats In L.A.: Live Review

By on 15 October 2014


Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have recently played their first few American shows, and the quartet hit L.A.’s renowned Roxy Theater last Friday. Our very own Joshua Sindell was there, and here’s what he thought…

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
The Roxy, Los Angeles

An English band is playing L.A.’s famed Roxy Theater, and bedraggled, greasy hippies with last night’s dinner still clinging to their hair and beards are swaying on the pavement, at times lurching off the kerb and threatening to lean too far into the onrushing traffic. The cops outside look nervous, hoping to avoid another riot on the Sunset Strip. The gig isn’t for hours, yet the queue to enter is long, and there ain’t no tickets left, as this one’s been sold out for weeks. It’s not the Summer Of Love, but there’s quite the audience here for Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, and their cauldron of bad-trip songs straight out of a cookbook published in 1969.

It took three full-length albums to get them over here, but the wait was worth it. Oozing bleak, Sabbath-derived melodies, and lyrics devoted to Manson-like cults, Uncle Acid seemed destined to one day set foot in the land of Death Valley and death in the Hollywood Hills. Taking the stage with minimal fuss, the quartet open with the lugubrious grind of ‘Mt. Abraxas’, with lank hair in their faces, and dark lighting the only elements keeping the mystery intact. One might yearn for the nonstop barrage of the biker/devil-movie visuals of the group’s videos to make the transition to the live presentation tonight, but if the band wishes to place all emphasis on the songs and ONLY the songs, at least they’ve got the skills to back it up.

Live as on record, the vocal harmonies between leader K.R. Starrs and his guitar-playing cohort Yotam Rubinger meld effortlessly into a high, emotionless wail that drapes itself onto the churning riffs like a shroud. And while they may not have the rock-star attitude of Black Sabbath’s original foursome, in concert this crew has the packed Roxy audience in its sway from the offset: In particular, ‘I’ll Cut You Down’ has a slow, unstoppable build that has members of the crowd leaping in doom-drunk unison. After the group plays its 12-song set, the band depart in triumph, while their admirers exit the theater to re-infiltrate “straight” society, satisfied in the knowledge that there are plenty of other miscreants out there possibly waiting for “helter skelter” — or worse — to arrive.

WORDS: Joshua Sindell

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