Arcane Roots @ Electrowerkz – Review

May 24, 2013 | By:

Being the first band on at any show is usually a tough ask; half empty venues, bleary eyed post-work audience and being the first to break the silence. There also, only seems to be two types of ‘first band on’ – the ones who diligently play through their set with a couple of attempts to ask the audience to “step forward, we don’t bite”, or those that decide the extra space is theirs to be taken.

Baby Godzilla firmly fall into the forefront of the latter category.

Discontent with playing on the stage (or on the floor, for that matter), their set was a thoroughly entertaining spectacle. Their vocalist spent a large chunk of the time hanging from the variety of pipes and poles littering the ceiling. At times, members would disappear out of view, only to reappear on the other side of the room, including at one stage, the drummer, who’d sustained some kind of injury that seemed to be patched up with electrical tape…

However, it was fairly difficult to actually discern the songs amidst the chaos, but that’s a case of whether or not the poor sound quality within the venue was to blame. A theory,which was backed up by the muddy mix that accompanied The James Cleaver Quintet.

By the time The JCQ took to the stage, the crowd had more than doubled in size. A sort of cult in their own right, it wouldn’t be a surprise if at least a few punters had turned up just to see them.

Having seen both The JCQ and Arcane Roots less than a week before this show, it’s safe to say that the sound at Electrowerkz is probably not quite up to scratch. Many of The JCQ’s intricacies were lost amongst the mix and leading melodies were at points, almost impossible to hear.

Regardless, The JCQ are on to something; their tweaked lineup works, their new songs sound great and they look calmly confident.

Finally, after what seemed like the longest looped-feedback-introduction known to man, Arcane Roots took to the stage. But who can fault them for a dramatic entrance? The trio had every right to celebrate the release of their long anticipated debut album; already one of the best albums to have been released this year.

The songs from ‘Blood and Chemistry’ blended with the earlier releases perfectly as they delivered a performance that not only sounded fantastic, but was captivating too. The audience at Electrowerkz truly witnessed something special.

Arcane Roots are one of few bands that manage to balance the melodic and the hard-hitting, the energy and the skill and the grandeur of a band much larger than themselves, with the humility of a band far smaller.

With the triumphant ‘Blood and Chemistry’ released, and live performances of the band’s caliber, this isn’t going to be the last anyone hears of Arcane Roots; a band truly destined for incredible things.