Yet another interesting gig set up by the kind folk at Artrocker. The London-based label/club night promoters seem to be leading the way in the South-East at the moment, consistently delivering good records and interesting show line-ups. Tonight sees Kaito and Klang at the ICA, celebrating the screening of the Rob Marshall directed Artrocker documentary film.
Up first are Klang, featuring former Elastica guitarist Donna Matthews. They offer up a heavily Krautrock-influenced sound, taking the distinct rhythmic pulse of Damo Suzuki-era Can and splicing it with some spiky guitar. The mood is fairly mellow throughout, but they manage to incorporate some truly exhilarating climaxes within their droning grooves. It will be interesting to see what Klang come up with in the future, as tonight's performance and their debut single 'LOVE' suggest very good things indeed.
Having witnessed Kaito a number of times over the past year supporting the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Liars, I was looking forward to seeing them in the headlining slot that they clearly deserve. For the uninitiated, Kaito's sound is huge, combining the rhythm and intensity of early Huggy Bear, the random squeals and abstract vocals of Kleenex, and random guitar noise that tips it's hat to Sister-era Sonic Youth and Andy Gill from Gang of Four. Essentially, what you get from the Norwich-based two-girl/two-boy combo is deliciously noisy, infectious stop/start pop songs, with choruses and shouted vocals that get stuck in your head for days.
Beginning their set with 'Go', Kaito run through a collection of songs from a discography that includes two full length albums, both of which have inexplicably garnered the band more attention Stateside than in the UK, and a number of EP's. Highlights include the stuttering 'Should I', the hyper punk of 'Anamoy' and the amazing 'Try Me Out', which merges a groovy bass line with a ridiculously catchy falsetto vocal. Put simply, the songs are incredible, delivered by a band that manages to side step all of the typically rubbish rock performance clichés. No choreographed moves or cheesy posturing in sight, just good noisy angular punk from these girls and boys.
On the basis of tonights performance, this will be Kaito's year. With a new record deal with Blast First and more upcoming headline dates and an April support slot for Le Tigre, the future is bright for this bunch.