I know there is an official video for this song, which you can view HERE. But If I’m honest, the below video is way cooler and fits much better with the song itself. Presumably it’s homemade, but whoever is responsible captured the essence of the song by focusing on grainy video footage of a spinning top and footage filmed by reflection of water. Alien Observer is undoubtedly a highlight of its namesake album so whichever video you prefer, is pretty irrelevant when you listen to the song pre/post slumber as you absolutely should.
Saw Glassjaw last night, pretty big deal considering that the last time I saw them was the 7/7/7 show in Brixton. Interestingly, that set began in much the same way as this one, but I’ll come to that shortly.
Napalm Death were up first, an odd choice of support but it transpires that Daryl requested them personally. Needless to say they slayed, a 25+ year career has done nothing to dampen their intensity, speed, nor ferocity. From my perspective, I ticked a box. I like Napalm Death in as much as I enjoy their music and respect what they do, but I’m not going to pretend to know all of their songs, nor will I bitch and moan about what they did or didn’t play. I guess from a neutral perspective, they were tight as fuck, loud as fuck and heavy as fuck! Scum was the obvious highlight, but I have always wanted to witness You Suffer live, of course I only realised that I had done once it was over. It might not have been their audience tonight but the brummie vets did a serious number on this weird-ass venue.
Glassjaw are fucking cool, I’m sold on them, and always have been. If you read this site regularly, you will already know that. I buy in to the whole enigmatic, carrot on a stick thing they have going, I get excited at every little bit of second-hand news that they drip-feed to the internet, and I certainly get excited at the prospect of seeing them live. Just like back in 2007, I can’t help but feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as that ominous drum loop is repeated over and over whilst the band amble about on stage, seemingly oblivious or unperturbed by the chaos that You Think You’re John Fucking Lennon is about to unleash. Without warning the band explode, as do the crowd. Of course, Tip Your Bartender follows immediately and then Mu Empire as a matter of course. It’s an unbelievable, if not predictable start to the set. In fact, it’s not until 10 or 11 songs in that the band play a song that wouldn’t be worthy of an encore for any other act. Before we even get to that point though, the set highlight Stars has barely stopped resonating through my eardrums. Daryl is on top form this evening, playing the role of engaging frontman to such an extent that you would be forgiven for thinking that you had attended a Head Automatica show rather than a GJ one. Of course the glorious noise emanating from the stage tells a different story than Daryls’ dancing might. The 14 song set is made up almost entirely of Worship And Tribute and Our Color Green cuts (plus El Mark), unfortunately the only EYEWTKAS cut to feature is the furious set closer Siberian Kiss, to which of course the crowd respond cordially. Then comes the kicker. By way of encore the band re-emerge to play their new Coloring Book EP in its entirety, front to back. A novel idea, maybe, and one that represents value for money. But in reality, after a furiously satisfying set of some of their more aggressive numbers, it was an idea that kind of backfired. Mainly because the more honest member of tonight’s audience would more than likely not have heard any of the 6 song encore, but also because the bands newer material is so different to that of their older stuff. I’m glad that I was familiar with their new stuff, I’m also glad that I am obsessive enough to have checked the setlists from all of their recent shows. Ultimately, this cushioned the blow of a climax that can only be described as a fizzing out. Having been starved of the likes of Pretty Lush and Piano, it is hard not to appreciate the crowds disinterest at Daytona White, no matter how pretty a song it is.
Amazing show though. Daryl was on serious form, gesticulating wide-eyed in to the crowd and yanking the mic away from his lungs as he hit the higher registers. The band was tight and the sound, on the mark. The set list as with any gig, a minor bone of contention. Of course, to top it all off, I walked away with my copy of The Coloring Book EP.
One of the albums I am looking forward to most this year is the new Grouper, it’s titled A I A and drops this month as either a double album or double album release. Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill was an incredible record and judging by the new track Alien Observer, A I A is set to follow in its footsteps. On top of all this good news, Grouper have been added to the Animal Collective curated ATP next month in Minehead. Check out the track over at P*******K.