Friday, 15 January 2016

Live Review: DUST/MooM/Rainbow Cobra @ Strauss, Jerusalem [7th January 2016]

  This is an absolute first for Punkalovich. Despite there being a few shows in Tel Aviv, including friends Almunim Metim, NEAT and Mondo Gecko, I have traveled to Jerusalem to the underground basement known as Strauss. Situated in the very Haredi area of Zichron Moshe/Geula in Jerusalem, this venue is the absolute opposite of its surrounding; a special place where punks come to enjoy cheap beer and noisy music. Tonight, it is the amazing DUST and MooM who have brought me over to the holy city. 

Rainbow Cobra

   Starting close to 11pm, first band Rainbow Cobra get under way. I was previously unfamiliar with the band but turns out that it is another band involving crazy Juan (Shchurdistan/Dilema/Bat Hayam HaKtana/etc..) on guitar/back up vocals and (South African) Rob (Marmara Streisand) on drums.
   With Eran on vocals and Daniella (ex-Mitan vocalist) on bass, the music is pretty much in the same lines as some of Juan's previous bands, playing pretty noisy crust. His guitar skills and evil vocals have always been the best things about everything he's been in and that stays the same with Rainbow Cobra. His riffs flip in between old school thrash and death metal, even sometimes throwing in some classic soloing. As impressive as that is, it tends to feel let down by Eran's vocals which are mostly repetitive shouting that don't always compliment the musical style. Things get more interesting when Juan and Eran do dual vocals. The songs come across more brutal and take me back to when dual vocals/2 vocalists was quite the trend in the late 90s/early 00s. Eran is at least quite a character to witness but his vocals alone just don't impress me.
  All round, there seemed to be a few mistakes here and there which they at least laughed off and flowed with, which is better and more professional than stopping and starting again. For someone who seems to have been drumming for a long time, Rob's drumming is still pretty minimal. When it comes to playing grooves, their effectiveness tends to get lost and fills in general come off as weak. But I guess this is what punk was always meant to be; energy over skill. Besides Juan's aforementioned talents, there still isn't really anything in the performance or the songs that make Rainbow Cobra really stand out.



  Ever since I first saw them some time back, I fell in love with MooM. They play a mixture of crusty powerviolence and sludge a la EYEHATEGOD. The EP (see review) is everything one hopes in an EP of this style; short with both fast parts and slow breakdowns and just extremely heavy. Whereas the EP, recorded originally as a demo, has a raw roughness about it, in a live setting with good enough sound, the band sound so tight that it's unbelievable.
  I didn't really make notes throughout the set because I just wanted to enjoy them. Although I've seen them before, this is the smallest setting I've seen them in and managed to get myself right in front of them. This is how MooM need to be viewed; right up close. Every single little movement every member of the band makes is an important and magical experience. The way Sima (vocals) screams with possibly even more gusto than she does in Not On Tour, Gad's (bass) antics as he vigorously plays and how his face goes all demonic as he growls, Ezra's (guitar) cool demeanour and Heshbon's (drums) flailing yet totally rhythmical arms all make MooM's live performance one of the most exciting I've ever seen. I found myself grinning from ear to ear and trying to stop myself from punching anyone or breaking anything. It might be difficult to tell songs apart at the moment but that will change with time.
 Obviously, this style is not everyone's taste, but being someone who appreciates the likes of EYEHATEGOD, DOOM and more beatdown bands like Xibalba, MooM give me the hit I need. They're basically the nearest thing Israel has to a beatdown and maybe even the nearest thing Israel has to a tight powerviolence band.


Side note: After MooM, I decided to go for a walk to try and find somewhere open to just buy a soft drink or something. Not only did I not find anything nearby open, but the streets were an absolute mess. The large trash cans had been set on fire and turned over with rubbish flying all over the place. There were fire engines and also quite a few police vans present. Turns out, this was a violent protest by the Haredi community in response to the death of a baby, allegedly shaken by a carer/nanny, whom the community did not wish to have an autopsy that the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court had ordered. It's all a bit crazy, but it's interesting to know that this sort of stuff happens over things like this.


  I have probably said this enough times on this blog, but I frickin' love DUST, I do. They may have been playing the same set of songs for quite some time, bar a few new ones which I still haven't quite gelled with yet, but luckily the majority are songs that I am more than happy to hear and go crazy to time and time again.
  The tracks from their first record, all of which they play tonight, still get me super pumped. Numb still has one of my favourite intros; melodic and a little tribal, giving it quite an epic feel, before smashing into hardcore groove and the shouting of "WAAAAKE THE FUCK UP!" As well as songs like Midas Touch, Slipping Away and PMA bringing out the hardcore kid in me, currently unreleased but already live staples such as Plastic, Role Model and the (usually) set closer Sick and Tired sound as awesome as ever, even in this tiny place. Once again, frontman Eyva was happy enough to let me do that final line of Sick and Tired. Don't really know how it sounded, but I always have fun shouting it. 
  Dust take after bands like John Coffey and even The Bronx, in some ways; having that hardcore energy and PMA but experimenting with more stoner rock-like riffs and grooves and different time signatures. Most hardcore in Israel is along the lines of straight up hardcore punk or border on metalcore with low toned "chugs", but DUST take all their influences and make hardcore that's a whole lot more interesting. 
   Ofek (guitar), Guy (bass) and Ran (drums) are all incredibly competent musicians and consistently tight. Evya does have a strong voice but he tends to do the same thing a lot. I'm only starting to notice this after about 2 years of seeing and listening to them. As much as I still like his vocals, I guess I would just love to hear him suddenly try some melody or use some more rhythmical/rap-like delivery. Unfortunately, he is also one of those many frontmen who will walk up and down looking at the floor for most part of the show. He does interact with the crowd at times, which is more than some, but it's maybe something that he and other vocalists (including myself) need to pay attention to. 
   A DUST debut album is meant to happen soon and I for one can't wait for it. Although some of the new stuff I hear in shows get a bit lost on me, I am interested in any other tracks they might have up their sleeves. 


1 comment:

  1. Rainbow Cobra got a great line up, I still need to check them up, despite the low rating