New local promoters LivePOD got off to a great start as it brought to our indie scene, an instrumental rock event (at Hood Bar) that not only championed an acclaimed regional act – COMA – but also showcased our very own talented bands viz In Each Hand a Cutlass and NeoDominatrix.
IEHAC opened the set with a set of old faithfuls and fresh numbers that warmed up the crowd well. Even though keyboardist Amanda Ling was nursing a fractured finger, she soldiered on gamely and even provided a fitful solo as well! Only complaint perhaps was that the set was a little short by IEHAC standards but provided a welcome teaser for the delights to come.
NeoDominatrix was probably the new kids on the block overall. The NAC Noise TMM prize winners for 2013 consist of five very competent instrumentalists and they didn’t fail to impress the audience with their virtuosity. Main issue I have with them is that the songwriting is a little under-developed at the moment. The songs never quite get going in my view. Also, leader Andy needs to cut loose with his guitar once in a while. I know he’s more than capable of doing so and thus, it’s a question perhaps of getting outside his comfort zone. Looking forward to listening to the new EP.
COMA (pictured right on top) are not a traditional band by any means, boasting three guitars and TWO basses, the group performance come across more as a sound installation. They hardly acknowledged the crowd and the songs melded into one whole rather seamlessly. There was a sense of tangible spirituality evoked by their mood pieces and heightened by a strong control of dynamics. Again, the set seemed extraordinarily short but maybe because the band was facing a time constraint.
Overall, this was an enlightening gig, focusing as it did on one aspect of alternative rock. In this respect, I believe it aided our appreciation of the works as the three bands – in their own way distinct fashions – demonstrated the power of instrumental rock and the ability for music to communicate without words or even banter. Kudos!
Photographs by Donald Soh.
Thanks to LivePOD for making this review possible.