Monday, 16 March 2015

Live Review: The Stubs/DUST/Left @ Koro, Tel Aviv [13th March 2015]

  Tonight, I come to Koro (yes...that place again. Tel Aviv's kind of small, you know..) for a bit of a mixed line-up show. This is the Tel Aviv leg of the Israel tour for Polish rocker The Stubs. From a few of the tracks I had previously checked out, these guys sounded fun and I wanted to check it out in person.


   The show starts off with local duo Left. I am still unsure if I've actually seen these guys before or not but I had checked their bandcamp and liked what I heard. The duo consists of Asaf Leizerovitz on guitar and main vocals and Roy Chen on drums and extra vocals. Throughout the set, I realise I've seen the drummer before. His ambidexterity and flawless techniques made me think of the drummer of another duo, Verminn. Turns out...yeh, that's him. He also drums for quite a few other bands so this must be his life. All power to him!

   What you discover from both listening to and watching Left is that they mostly float somewhere in between stoner rock and full on garage rock anthems. Songs like tonight's set opener I Wanna Get To Know You, Ghost and Betterman lean more towards the stoner side of things. The former and the latter are more sultry and intense, with the former reminding me of QOTSA, with its "I wanna get to know you" refrain getting stuck in my head by the end of the song. Ghost is like a more haunting Led Zepplin with a "groovy" riff and pounding drums. Asaf's vocals are powerful and on point on all songs; at the same time, even quite endearing. The track called 7 (not a Prince cover) is not so much "stoner rock" but has more of a slight space-rock/horror punk feel about it, filled with high octane drumming and an intense riff. If you were running away from sort of hungry monster trying to take over your planet, this song would be a suitable soundtrack. 

   Tell Me, Matter of Control and Rogues in the House are where I hear the bands more garage rock influences. Tell Me is ridiculously catchy and, personally, is quite reminiscent of the BBC song from Austin Powers. Maybe that's just me! Matter of Control takes things to a more MC5/New York Dolls level, with wailing vocals and an intoxicating rhythm that had a few people dancing tonight. Rogues in the House is also very danceable with a hint of White Stripes about it...just with more interesting drumming.
  As well as proper songs, Left also have a few instrumentals, such as Power To The People and Headbanging which they play tonight. The former is quite techno/disco and had me nodding my head along up until it goes batshit crazy like a heavy dance track; the latter is a slow paced trippy number with an infectious riff and can definitely get you banging your head.  

  Asaf and Roy are great musicians. Roy's drumming is mesmerising and Asaf has some great riffs and a well tuned voice. I will add, however, that they do look quite mismatched as a band; Roy looks and plays like more of a metaller whereas Asaf has a "geek-chic" look about him. Fortunately, they work well together and I was very impressed. 
  See Left play with Shifka Chiefs at Levontin 7 on 21st March.


   How many times have I written about DUST already? This hard hitting and groove-led hardcore band just keep playing wherever and whenever they can. Playing songs off their self titled EP (such as the popular and catchy Midas Touch, Numb, with its epic sounding intro that always gets me pumped, the invigorating PMA, the amazing Slipping Away, the groovy Title and even the short blast of fury that is Brain Fuck Your Skull) as well as newer songs which are still familiar from previous shows (Bloody Knuckles and constant set closer Sick and Tired) all manage to get quite a few people in the crowd dancing and moving, despite it not being the biggest turn out I've seen for Dust before. 

Frontman Evya is not afraid to get amongst the viewers as the rest of the band full rock out on stage. As much as I love them, they need to start playing some "new-new" songs; songs we haven't heard several times before. That, and they should also release a proper album, like....NOW!

  You can see Dust play a lot of shows in the near future, I'm sure, including a Fanzine show at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv on election day.

The Stubs

  Now we come to the main event. It's always fun when an overseas band comes here. At the same time, it's a bit disappointing when they don't really get the right reception. I guess there is a good number of people here tonight for Polish band The Stubs, but it just doesn't feel like the normal crowd for a punk rock show. And these guys are pure punk rock and roll. 

  As the band starts, they don't have a full room straight away but slowly people started coming back in and all eyes were on them and lots of feet were moving. From the get go, with the Hellacopters-esque Nation Of Losers, we get the idea that this show is going to be full of hard rocking songs. The band are being quite energetic but I can imagine that touring takes the wind out of you as they could have smiled a bit more. 

  Their set basically continues along the garage rock/rock and roll kind of lines. Highlights of the set include the fast paced Straight and White which also has a nice change of pace in the middle, Salvation Twist with its "WOOHOO" chorus, Timmy with its cool wailing guitar intro that leads into groovy rock and roll, the riff laden and Rival Sons-esque There's No Mother and oldest song in the set, Highway Demon, which pretty much sounds like an angrier and heavier country song. During the set, guitarist and singer Tomek thanks us for coming and a little bit about themselves. Bless him, though...he seemed out of breath from all the rocking.

    Show closer Rudy's Blue Boogie, as the name suggests, has a bluesy riff quite reminiscent of Canned Heat's On The road Again...but punkier. But it might not have been enough as they left the some of crowd wanting more. I think we must have all been having fun as the set actually felt quite short. 

   If you like bands like MC5, Stooges, Hellacopters, Bombshell Rocks etc.. then The Stubs' back catalogue is definitely worth a listen.


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