The Messthetics – 31st January 2019 – Newcastle Cluny
Feature by Graeme J. Baty
I went into the show, admittedly, knowing very little of the bands material, just what I’d heard online. The draw of Fugazi (easily one of the greatest bands ever) legends Joe Lally and Brendan Canty was too much to deny, anything they’ve worked on is special and I was curious to know if the magic had carried over to this new project. The Messthetics are a hugely welcome surprise after years of Fugazi silence it’s marvellous to see and hear Joe and Brendan re-unite. This time they’re back with another incredible talent; guitarist Anthony Pirog. The results are nothing short of brilliant and have outweighed anything I could have possibly imagined.
I am known for my love of instrumental music and I know some people tend to drift without a vocal or lyric to hang onto but with The Messtechics there is simply no time to drift, they constantly shift and dynamically change sounds, it’s extremely thrilling not knowing where the song will go, how it will end or when the next party riff is gonna come in and make you grin from ear to ear.
Watching Anthony Pirog is a thrill. He’s visibly having the best time in the world, pedal hopping and pulling out the most creative and diverse tones I’ve ever heard. Over the hour-long set he uses more tricks and technique than I’d ever manage in a lifetime of guitar playing.
Mythomania makes for the perfect opener and introduction to the band a super cool groove makes way for a J Mascis style hurricane of guitar technique and amazing riffs. Whilst the backline tightly drives, and at times almost tames Pirog. I was utterly engrossed right from the start.
Crowds and Power is the standout song from the night. Somehow an hour evaporates in the blink of an eye and the night is over, it’s a thrill to witness this night. It is way too early in the year to be suggesting ‘gig of the year’ contenders but it’ll take some doing to top this show.
There’s a delightfully playful air about the music, yet the sound is highly crafted. Three super talented musicians have created something much greater than the sum of its parts. This is much more than just a fun side project or something to fulfil any ego requirements. Simply put The Messthetics are amazing! After the show, I picked my jaw up from the floor and walked away from the show saying to myself… ‘holy shit, that was good!’.
The Messthetics are a sight and sound to behold. Truly one of the most inspirational instrumental bands on the planet. Just what I needed to blow off the cobwebs after a long boring gigless winter!
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