JOSÉ’S BANDS OF THE WEEK: THE NIGHT TERRORS / HEIRS

By on 3 November 2010

Another double header! But, as with Sailors With Wax Wings and White Moth a few weeks ago, there is ample justification to cram two great bands into one little Wednesday. I admit, however, that this was supposed to be just about Heirs. I had been planning an article about them ever since I first heard their great new album, ‘Foal’, but I decided to wait a little longer because they were playing a show at Bracara Extreme Fest, which I attended this past weekend. I was very curious to see how their unusual style worked out on stage, and I got more than I had bargained for. Not only did Heirs surpass my every expectation (I’ll get to that in a minute), but I also witnessed a staggering performance by the band that has been touring Europe with them, The Night Terrors, and by the end of their set it was obvious that they needed to be mentioned as well.

I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of The Night Terrors before, but they make an instant impression on stage with their instrumentation alone. There’s a table with a keyboard and various effects pedals and gadgets full of buttons, a bass, drums, and a theremin. A fucking theremin. If you’re unsure about what that is, just take a peek at my photo from Sunday’s gig up there or go on youtube and search for theremin lessons, and then wonder how that will ever fit into an extreme band. It does, though. Miles Brown, the bassist/theremin… ist? Is that a word? Anyway, the man is a genius at it. The foundation of the band’s sound consists of Miles’ huge bowelshaking bass riffs, all torn up by the crazy feedback-drenched electronics of Ianto Kelly and augmented by the pounding drums of Nedd Jones, but then Miles gets behind that theremin, starts waving his hand around with a solemn look on his face and somehow everything turns into an expression of delightfully creepy, slithering beauty. Never mind those obvious Misfits compilations, this is true Halloween music. They make their name proud, really, and their debut album ‘Back To Zero’, which I rushed to the merch stall to acquire right after the concert (and a t-shirt too – thanks for finding the last XL, Miles and Ian!), is one of the freshest and most exciting debuts I’ve heard in a while.

Probably since 2009’s ‘Alchera’, Heirs’ very own debut. Signed to the über-cult label Denovali Records, they were never going to be a common little post rock band, but the way they mixed those tendencies with droney repetition, hypnotic rhythms and riffs and even occasional pounding Godflesh-isms predicted great things for the future, and one of those great things is that new album I mentioned earlier, ‘Foal’. That album cover alone would demand some attention, but you’d be well advised to not ignore the yellow and black object. It’s not music that sticks with you right away, but once the “low-end volume, repetition to induce hallucination, distorted violence,” as they so aptly describe it on their MySpace, get under your skin, they ain’t leaving. On stage, it’s all that, tenfold, with the added bonus of Miles Brown himself picking up where the The Night Terrors’ gig left off and adding keyboards and theremin to Heirs, as if any more headache-inducing noise was required. It was so good that even Primordial’s own Alan Averill complimented them during his band’s performance later on. As for me, I don’t have a band but I’ll compliment them right here. I must have looked like a spasmodic geek on Sunday night, all twisted up and twitching in front of the stage as distorted riffs were repeated roughly seven million times each, ruining my brain and my hearing a bit further every single time, but hey – you wouldn’t have found a happier geek in the world.

The Night Terrors
Heirs
José’s band of the week brings you the weirdest and noisiest musical oddities every Wednesday. If you’re aware of such an oddity, do bring them to my attention at jose.bandoftheweek@gmail.com.

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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