Monday, 24 November 2014

Live Review: Megason/Zaga Zaga/Mongar @ Koro, Tel Aviv [20th November 2014]


Arriving a little bit late to the show (which i genuinely didn't think was possible for an underground Israeli show), I was told by those at the door that the band Mongar had just started. I had no previous idea who Mongar are. I could have checked, done a bit of research, watch the videos that were posted on the event page....but I tend to not do that so much anymore. Not for a brand new band. I like to be surprised and just see how well they can hold my attention in person. 

As I enter the stage area, I see a 2 man act on stage; a guitarist with a pedal board and a laptop and a drummer listening through headphones. I have definitely seen the guitarist around. Always assumed he was a German tourist or maybe a German volunteer living out here. Definitely looks German. Anyway.... I digress. The music these guys play is experimental instrumental rock. They swerve in and out of being more in the vein of 65daysofstatic to heavier vibes not too dissimilar to Lightning Bolt or even Animals As Leaders....only with less musical masturbation. Obvious instrumental bands references aside, there are moments that sound Tool-esque in timbre, and although I am not a massive fan of Tool, I admire the musicianship. Mongar as a team are absolutely flawless. Their laptop seems to be utilised as their metronome and providing backing tracks. The guitarist is relying on the drummer to keep time with the whole track and he doesn't disappoint. The drummer is absolutely incredible. He isn't just playing standard experimental jazz beats that you would expect in something like this, but he plays my favourite beats to play; Drum n Bass beats. I love just about anything that uses dance/dnb/jungle/sometimes even dubstep style rhythms into primarily more rock orientated songs. That is what truly classes as "experimental". When you bring different things to the table. These guys had me tapping my feet, nodding my head and in total awe of their playing, their melodies, their beats and their overall creativity. 

Zaga Zaga

What can I say about Zaga Zaga? They're just bloody nuts. They like wearing smart shirts when they perform. Nothing wrong with that. Tonight, they have made and hand drawn their own banner which they tape to the back wall. Nothing wrong with that either. Their music, on the other hand, is just barmy. Including members of Mad Choice, Knees Please (ex-Tape&Rape) and whatever else the drummer might be in (haha), these guys play something quite different to their other bands. They themselves don't even really know how to describe it.

Basically, if you ever liked The Locust or early DEP, you will like Zaga Zaga. They are a punk band, essentially, who just happen to play totally fucked up hardcore. The songs are really short and played really fast, apart from their opener which has an epic beginning where they are all shouting together. Every member gets to do vocals. Everyone. Sometimes in other bands, the drummer won't want to sing, sometimes the bassist doesn't. In this case, everyone is the frontman. This adds to their intensity and the enjoyment of watching them. They feel the music they play too. What's the point in playing music this chaotic and energetic without flapping about like a fish out of water? It took me a while to really appreciate this band from when I first saw them live, but I have begun to enjoy them for the mentalists that they are.


Tonight's show at the Koro finishes with psychedelic stoner rockers Megason. I have seen these guys a few times before....but seem to always forget that I did. I don't know if it was because I was quite tired or because I wasn't really in the mood for this kind of thing, but it didn't really do anything for me tonight. They are great musicians and their music is enjoyable to listen to, but when watching them live, there's nothing memorable about them. Maybe I just need to get more used to their material and watch them live a few more times to really appreciate them. 


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