Devil's Roadshow - Facelift Wired and Apnia Live

Wedgewood Rooms - February 2006

Facelift Wired roll out a sparse aggressive sound: part 80s thrash, part 90s hardcore. The riffs are stern affairs, guitar and bass working together to pummel the audience. The simple themes are embellished with lots of shredder solos and squeals from the guitarist. Front-man Alan provides vein-popping vocals, seeming to reach deep into his bowels for every syllable. The timing of the drums slips at a few points but the steel of the songs themselves is still more than evident. The band ooze attitude, the audio equivalent of watching ‘Taxi Driver’ on repeat. The style stays firmly entrenched in the bludgeoned-by-metal territories. Very lairy indeed – the sort of music you know your mother will loathe. However, Apnia might be to her liking; a double-fronted goth-metal act with distinct pop sensibilities. They’re very ‘rock’, but also very ‘safe’. That’s not to demean their performance or song-writing skills, both of which are impeccable. The female half of the singing section makes a fine front-person; loads of confidence and a strong voice to back it up. The fella seems a little superfluous, lacking his own lines to get stuck into. The band are tight and precise in a way that is rare to find on local nights like this. They look pretty good as well - lots of synchronised hair-swinging antics and focused faces. They play brilliantly to a dwindling audience, never letting up for a minute. But I still feel something was lacking. There were hooks but no hair-raising magic – maybe they’re just a bit too accessible.