Who said that we should count like cats?
Instrumental Post-Rock isn’t meant to be fun. Apparently though, it seems no one's told ascendant London four piece ‘Instruments’, for whose brand of sonic experimentation I’m stumped to find an adjective more befitting. Making their Silver Rocket debut tonight, Instruments have the guile to be bright, melodic, and well…fun. Frankly, in a musical world ruled by affected dissonance and technique over imagination, they’re a breath of fresh air.
The requisite pre-gig visit to their myspace page suggests a band in possession of some well worn Owls and Joan of Arc/ Tim Kinsella LP’s. However, from tonight’s opening note it becomes clear that there’s much more to the Instruments agenda than paying tribute to their musical forefathers. They might be first on the bill, but as the amps buzz into life a significant crowd has already formed, rapidly swelling to the venues capacity.
Initially the music teases, frequently stopping and starting before reforming anew, each dynamic twist bringing forth a fresh sense of melodic and rhythmic purpose. Onstage, the band clearly appear to be enjoying themselves. Their involuntary back and forth rocking, conspirital grins and general lack of self consciousness imbue the performance with the same easy charm as the music. It’s undeniably infectious. They might be without vocals (save the odd yelp), but each Instrument is in possession of an arsenal of riffs lyrical enough to carry any song in their own right. Clearly, they're musicians of some repute, (the relative ease in which they negotiate shifts in tempo and time signature is frightening) yet there’s no flabby self-serving indulgence on display here. Each part is given just enough time to etch itself into your psyche before it shifts off in a new direction. Label them ‘Math-rock’ if you really must, but such clinical terminology belies the intuitive, playful core at the center of their music. Ultimately, for all the technical prowess on display here it's not the bands minds, but their hearts which have duly charmed the crowd tonight. As their set draws to a close a cursory scan of the Buffalo Bar reveals the stock audience response of stroked chin and furrowed brow has long been ditched in favour of nodding heads, tapping feet and smiling faces. Relatively speaking, we’re dancing in the aisles.
Who said that instrumental Post-Rock wasn't meant to be fun?
Download the Instruments track 'American Football or American Football?' here.