RUSSIAN CIRCLES – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

One of the best ever rock gigs in Singapore. Ever. Nuff said! Well, I guess I should say more… 🙂

In Each Hand a Cutlass came on first and delivered a short set of intelligent, hi-octane instrumental rock that covered much ground – from jazz fusion to prog-rock to “post-rock” to John Barry-channeling Bond collages.

I was simply awed at how proficient the individual members were with their respective instruments – even bass player Clement who was subbing for Kenny. You’d never think he’d been learning the songs over the course of only three rehearsals. Special mention must be made regarding Jordan’s drumming – sometimes other-worldly, intricate and dynamic. Very very good.

The range of styles is what intrigues me most about IEHAC – often the failings of too many instrumental so-called post rock (I don’t really trust that term, to be honest) bands. I would venture to state that perhaps only I Am David Sparkle is in the same league as IEHAC in Singapore. Excellent show – that debut record cannot come any sooner as far as I am concerned.

I feel that IEHAC really upped its game because of what was to follow – the Russian Circles’ debut on a stage in Singapore. And it’s a debut that nobody who was fortunate enough to witness it will ever forget! I loved the trio’s simple ethos – no yakking with the audience (no roadies either, the band set up themselves!) – just heads down and ROCK!!!! And I do mean – RAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWCCCCCCCCCCCCKK!!!!

Oh and did I say that it was all happening in Zouk?! Yes, Zouk of all the places?!? Believe me I was shaking throughout the blistering, mind-numbing set. Yeah it was LOUD (!) but I forsook earplugs to enjoy the volume unfettered and I’m so glad I did. What was particularly brilliant was that the power trio (viz. Mike Sullivan – guitar, Brian Cook – bass and Dave Turncrantz – drums) utilized sampling and looping to fill up the sound to stunning effect. And it sounded really really good! Kudos to Leo and Goose for job well done!!

The “hits” were all suitably trotted out – Carpe and Death Rides a Horse (from the Enter EP), Harper Lewis (from the Station EP) and Geneva, Melee, Malkos and Philos (from the Geneva LP) – performed with maximum impact. Drummer Turncrantz was particularly impressive, pummeling his kit with a mad intensity and driving the heavy noise ever forward.

It’s a gig I will never ever forget… congratulations to KittyWu Records and Incursive Productions for an awesome rock show!! For those who missed it, hopefully Mike, Brian and Dave will make their way back to our shores again and you too can be overwhelmed by the POWER!

And yes, I’m still shaking… WHOA!!!!

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B002N1AECS[/amazon-product](Stop-gap) photo by Aloysius Lim. Will post more photos when I get them…

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