ONCE CAPES, REVOLVING
STAGES AND ENDLESS DRUM
SOLOS WERE THE NORM
e proq's |0S
There was a time when prog was very much a four—letter word, but Mark Robertson reckons things are looking up with bands like Tool around.
here was a time. a long time ago in what feels
like a galaxy far. lar away that capes. revolving
stages. endless drum solos and high-l'alutin' concept alhums were not just the norm hut were positively encouraged. Then a hunch ol‘ snot nosed. gohhy kids appeared. armed with a l‘ew New York Dolls t'ilTs held together with safety pins. and the whole gig was resolutely lucked. Punk didn‘t so much kill progressive rock in the 70s ~ these guys were way too hig to he killed (iii. no matter how strong the movement was these odd creatures just
retreated until the 80s when they could reconvene l‘or
arena tours and triple alhums. once music had hecome suitath anodyne and toothless again.
Thirty years down the line. everything and anything is tip for grahs musically and prog. like punk. post- punk. haggy. rave. heavy metal. (‘86 indie. have all heen reconvened into new (well. newishi shapes. designs and colours. The parps and fails ol‘ the Klaxons may signal the party of WW) heing reconvened hy a hunch ol tarts who were sittitig watching 'I’liuiii/(‘it‘uts while it all happened lirst time round and. similarly. prog has heen taken tip hy people who know Rick Wakeman as the funny old guy they saw once on Never .llim/ I/It‘ Buxcncks.
The fun thing is that prog has now heen comhined with the very phenomenon that crippled it in the 7()s: punk. lncredihle hands like Kling Klang (who play this issue. see llitlist. right). Mystery Jets. Secret Machines. The (‘ooper Temple (‘lause. Mew. Pure Reason Revolution. ()ceansi/e. Mastodon. Ampliliei'. The l)eceinhrists. The Mars Volta. Muse and even
home-grown heasts rock like Moniack. Desalvo. l.apsus Linguae. Laeto and l)ananananaykroyd all seem concerned with pushing the musical envelope out of the l.ihertines-shaped straitjacket into new head space. Much of this has heen facilitated hy two hands: Radiohead and Tool. The indie kids get in via the former and the metallers via the latter and the next thing you know splat? suh—(‘lash strums and l’aux heroin hahits are ahandoned in favour of 9/8 time signatures and l'erocious dynamism. The hest thing to come out of all this is that there are hands who are unashamed to play really well. They sound phenomenal and trade on the aural qualities of the music rather than the appealing hues ol‘ the vomit encrusted on their leather jackets.
Tool are easily one of the most innovative hands of
the last 20 years. standing alongside Rage Against The Machine. liaith No More and Jane‘s Addiction as acts who‘ve genuinely shifted the goalposts in rock music while shifting serious units. Theirs is a hi'utal volumous sound. l'our (almost overly) talented players smelting prog's original over-hlown intentions into a giant. l‘luid. monster. struggling in it‘s own skin. one moment ghostly. the next crushingly heavy.
This month’s show at the Sli(‘(‘ heralds their latest alhum /().()()() Days. a dark and complex 7()-minuter. meditating on the l'etid stench emanating from the American dream. hut still finding space to cleanse old hones with uncompromising ril'l‘s. making a truly special live experience. And not a cape in sight.
SECC, Glasgow, Sat 25 Nov.
DJ Shadow His considerable rep may outweigh his recorded output but the hope is that this real live hip hop party will showcase his third. The Outsider, like it deserves. Carling Academy, Glasgow, Wed 29 Nov. (Rock 8 Pop)
if The Be Good Tanyas Proving that the older generations don't have the monopoly on celebrating musical heritage. this Vancouver trio bring the brittle magic of old time country. Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Sat 78 Nov. (Rock 8 Pop)
:2 Fiddle 2006 Some of the planet '5 finest folk violinists converge on the Capital for a series of recitals, master classes and workshops. exemplifying the brilliance of their craft. See preview, page 65. Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 7 7—Sun 19 Nov. (Folk)
:73? Scissor Sisters They can get the most inept pair of left feet twitching. and these dates (the latter is in aid of Global Cool and is sold out) will be crammed with sufficient, joyous, pop campery to keep you going for months. SECC, Glasgow, Sun 19 Nov; Barrow/and, Glasgow, Mon 20 Nov. (Rock & Pop)
Nina Nastasia Sublime songwriting from this sensational New York-based singer. See page 11.ABC, Glasgow, Tue 21 Nov. (Rock & Pop)
Tool and Mastodon See preview, left. SECC, Glasgow. Sat 25 Nov. (Rock 8. Pop)
1-».f Kling Klang They have come from another world to conquer earth with their hypnotic Kraft-Sabbath electro-prog frippery. Well, it was Liverpool actually, but they‘re still mind- blowing live. Their debut album is reviewed on page 66. Classic Grand, Glasgow, Thu 30 Nov. (Rock 8. Pop)
iii .i-Ll N()\. I’i‘ltai THE LIST 63