I was at the Wooden Arms EP launch at the Octagon Chapel on the same night that the Neutrinos played the Puppet Theatre, and so I was unable to be in both place as once and thank my friend FallGuy for his excellent review. Sorry I have no accompanying photos.
12 July, 2013, The Neutrinos at the Puppet Theatre
In an age of corporate, self- indulgent dad rock and with the emergence
of so many ‘hotly tipped’ but ultimately contrived, sterile and soulless
bands (Vuvuvultures, Night Engine, anyone?) it was a real treat to see an
established band joyously continuing to plough their own rich furrow so
productively. One cannot help but think that had the Neutrinos hailed from
a city more on the nation’s musical radar than Norwich, Brighton or Bristol
say, they would have achieved far more widespread acclaim, perhaps on a
par with a band like The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. On the other hand, one of the
great advantages of the relative isolation of the Norwich music scene is that
it allows space for bands to develop in their own sweet way without being
warped or manipulated by ‘the industry’.
Tonight’s set was a well judged mix of old, recent and very new, suggesting
that after so many years this band’s creativity remains undimmed. Never
afraid to experiment or challenge their audience the Neutrinos create a
vortex of sound at times sinister, threatening, playful, uncompromising and
Superbly complemented by expressive drums, throbbing, pulsing bass
and the ethereal vocal pyrotechnics and loudhailer proclamations of
their innovative guitarist the dark heart of the Neutrinos is singer Karen
Reilly, whose theatricality, wonderfully resonant voice and beguiling stage
presence draws you into a weird and disconcerting world where menace
sits side by side with beauty and otherworldliness. In every sense the
performer, Karen owns the stage, at times a malevolent presence and
at others a reassuring one, her voice by turns arch, caressing, unhinged,
soothing and silky smooth.
The Neutrinos boast a number of stomping, scuzzy mutant blues – punk
songs such as ‘Love is in the Bullet’, ‘Mother’s Mother’s Tongue’ and the
show-stopping ‘Butcher of Common Sense’ with its Killing Joke guitar riff
and the brooding insistence of Karen’s keening, sensuous and downright
unsettling vocals. However, it’s the range of this band that sets them apart.
Because brilliant as their noisy, visceral blues sound is they are equally as
effective when they turn down the volume for songs such as ‘Shark Bait’
and ‘Horse Pills’. Loud and electric or quiet and acoustic it matters not a jot,
the more they mix the two the better they sound.
Call it art rock, call it mutant blues, call it blues – S punk, call it what you
will, if you want to see an established and supremely gifted band playing at
the top of their game to remind you what the hell rock ‘n’ roll should be all
about then catch the Neutrinos soon.
review by FallGuy 2013