Photo: Allan McLeod Roney
According to Wikipedia, ‘Brontide is a type of rumbling noise heard occasionally in some parts of the world, probably caused by seismic activity.’
You may be more familiar with the rumblings caused by the riff-tastic math rock three piece of the same name. At home on the Holy Roar Records label, anybody who takes even just a passing interest in this particular side of alternative music should have at least heard of their name by now. I certainly had, but never went out of my way to chase them down.
As I stood pressed up and leaning against the speaker stack in the crowded basement venue, I could feel myself almost nodding off to the sound of the formidable math-rockers… which I’m aware probably smacks of a back-handed compliment. However, in the words of a fellow attendee, “this really is something of a hit or miss genre, isn’t it?”.
It is. The rhythmical uniformity required by those that play this type of music properly is so precise that even the smallest of mistakes is painfully obvious… and certainly not something you can be gently lulled into a stupor with. It’s a good thing, trust me. A whole room filled with people nodding in unison with serious looks… it was almost like being involved in some bizarre cult ritual.
There’s a perception that music without any vocals is boring, but it’s difficult to imagine how a track like Matador, complete with the dark guitar parts and enlightened interjections, played with such gusto and passion as these guys managed could ever be thought of in such a way. If you appreciate technically interesting music without a hint of pretence, you should try catch Brontide the next time they roll into your town. Hopefully it shouldn’t be before long, given that there’s the promise of a new album on the way in 2013.