Eden Maine Rms, Merthyr Tydfil, 28/05/2005

Wed 1st June 2005

Support from Lack


First of all, never trust directions off the internet to get you to Merthyr. Lies, all lies...

Anyway, about an hour or so after we finally get there with a full fifteen people including myself and my two friends in attendence, Undergroove newbies Lack take to the stage. I'd never heard any of their stuff before and the news of their signing had been met with distinctly mixed responses on the Undergroove forum so I wasn't sure what to expect. The words 'not getting my hopes up' would probably be the most appropriate.

The first song starts ok but certainly doesn't do all that much before it finishes some minutes later and that's probably about the best summary I can give of the entire set. Don't get me wrong, they're enjoyable enough and all the songs are well written but just really don't seem to go anywhere fast. That, coupled with the diabolical sound in RMs (vocals? rhythm guitar? hello...?) means that the set is cool in nothing more than the most general, head nodding kinda way. That said, the only actual 'low point' of the set comes not from the music but rather from the vocalist first trying to flog their album then suddenly going off on an entirely uncalled for 'your taxes are paying for the bombs being dropped on Iraq' rant. Bearing in mind that me, my two friends, Lack, Eden Maine and possibly one or two of the bar staff are arguably the only ones in the room old enough to actually pay tax it was a bit of an own goal... The long and short of all this is that I think I'd need to hear the album or see a decent gig before I can form an educated opinion. The jury's still out...

Eden Maine, however, I'm very fond of and 'To You The First Star' has been on heavy rotation on my discman since finally getting round to buying it about two months ago. Unfortunately they encounter problems before even playing a single note as the PA, albeit rather briefly, decides it doesn't want to play anymore. After the sound guys have spent a few minutes doing the whole 'shining a torch at it usually works' thing everything's back on and my first question of 'will they play 'The Hunter and The Hunted'?' is immediately answered as it opens the set. For me this is the stand out track on the album and is about as good as Hardcore based music gets in my opinion. Why so many bands end up sounding like Dillinger or Converge in their overly formulaic, 'We Are American Hardcore' drudgery when they could write music like this will baffle me til my dying day, I suppose for some people, tattoo's are just more important than music...

Tight, precise and putting in the effort despite the abject lack of an audience, the Eden Maine boys tear through their set sounding exactly the way a good live band should, i.e. as well put together as the album but with the extra energy of a live show. Tragically this is somewhat sabotaged by the again absolutely fucking horrendous sound. I don't know if the engineer was local or brought in with the bands but he was having serious problems either way. On top of all this, the only people there enjoying the show are me, my two friends and... er... Eden Maine (who themselves are, understandably, rapidly losing interest with playing to what realistically equates to an empty room) as, believe it or not, the crowd actually gets smaller after they start playing!!! Now I'll admit I've never been to Merthyr before but from what I've seen and been told there is nothing, repeat NOTHING better to do there on a Saturday night than go the RMs rock night even if there isn't a band playing, let alone one as good as Eden Maine, so what the fuck was going on with this is beyond me.

After about five/six songs the sentence 'this is our last song' is muttered, far too early for my liking, into a microphone and they finish with album closer 'Disinformasia'. With one big final push they throw everything at it despite the total apathy that meets each chord and it builds and builds to a monsterous climax that leaves me ever so slightly shell-shocked but happier for it. Predictably, the first crowd enthusiasm shown all night comes from three teenage girls who descend on vocalist Adam the instant he steps off stage. Mind you, having said that, my mate Shelley had admitted she was having difficulty concentrating as a result of those ridiculously tight jeans he was sporting...

In summary: Eden Maine deserved better than tonight. Better sound, better support and a much better crowd.

I shouldn't really complain mind, it rocked whilst it lasted and at least they bothered to come out this fucking far in the first place, eh?


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