Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Yndi Halda, Bar Bloc, Glasgow 17/07/06

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yndi Halda, Bar Bloc, Glasgow 17/07/06

There is something exciting about watching an instrumental guitar band in full swing. Devoid of vocals, these bands have to get every ounce out of their instruments, to convey the same passion. When it works, there is no other feeling like it.

One of those instrumental bands is Yndi Halda, and before you dismiss them as "another post-rock band", wait until you listen to what I have to say. This group of five friends have been creating such a buzz over the web over the last year, that I had to go and see what they were all about. Before I get started, I must mention that I consider Mogwai the benchmark in this genre, and so (unfairly) compare similar bands and performances to them. I think it is also worth noting that 'post-rock' of late has become quite stale and deriviative, with only a handful of acts pushing the boundaries out. Port-Royal and Epic45 are two of these bands who are shying away from the quiet/loud formula, and trying new things. However, when you see a band as passionate as Yndi Halda, perceptions tend to change.

First things first, though, the openers, and local act, The Site Of Future Rome, did a good job of keeping the 100-strong crowd enetertained. Their cello-driven instrumental music was engaging, with interesting time signatures and gorgeous, sweeping melodies. They will be touring all over Scotland towards the end of the month, read the tour info and listen to some music here.

Despite Icelandic moniker, headliners Yndi Halda have very little in common with Sigur Ros. They're sound is heavily influenced by the likes of Godspeed! You Black Emperor. People may accuse them as being copyists, but I would say they are honouring the Canadian legends. You cannot help, but be swept away by the passion of the live performance.

For such a young group, they are all technically gifted musicians. Violins, guitars, bass and drums combine to give an epic, swooning sound, that suggests huge potential. With only one Ep availible, this band have got plenty more left to say.

Their music has an almost celebratory or triumphant feel to it. Opening track, "Dash and Blast", easily demonstrates this. Weaving from one part to the other, this 15 minute epic is notable for it insanely catchy violin hook and loud bursting guitars.

Despite been let down by a small and inadequate sound system, the band summoned up every ounce of their energy and skill to put in an awesome performance. They would lay waste to a larger venue!.

"We Flood Empty Lakes", from the band's Ep, was another highlight. This effort showed why the youngsters from Canterbury, Kent are placed at number 2 in Decoymusic's Top 50 instrumental releases. Beating the likes of Sigur Ros, Explosions In The Sky and Red Sparowes.

Its not just about the music, though. The band have a fantastic D.I.Y ethic, like playing last night's gig for free or handmaking each of the Ep's individually. They are not even afraid to post negative reviews on their myspace site either. Its either naivety or confidence in their own abilities. I think the latter.

They also easily overcame the chatter of the punters in the bar within minutes of starting and seemed to have the audience's attention for the whole of the set. Closing song, the frantic and taut, "Illuminate My Heart, Darling", was quite simply jaw-dropping. Especially towards the end, where the violins and guitars wrestled with the drums and bass in a dramatic climax. In this kind of form there is only one winner..... The listener.

Yndi Halda, a band with enormous hype surrounding them. Could they live up to it. In short.....Yes!!!!!!!. Recently signed up, I expect big things in the future. Listen here and read this.

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