Mello Mello, Liverpool
Friday 5th July 2013
Has there ever been a more appropriate band name? I guess Motorhead effectively defines Lemmy’s crew – but how about Evil Blizzard?
Two words that when coupled perfectly encapsulate this bands psyche; the name implies both malevolent darkness and suggests the sheer power associated with this mysterious Preston based outfit; beloved by (amongst (in) famous others) Mark E. Smith who whilst insisting that they support The Fall on that bands recent Liverpool outing was heard to say “I like Evil Blizzard, they give me hope that music is alive and kicking”
Friday was one of the hottest days of the year to date, Mello Mello is packed, the dripping walls are literally bowing outwards – it’s a long narrow venue, the crowd funnel towards a low stage; the ceiling fans sat idle, mocking the sweltering bodies clamouring for a vantage point, necks craned trying to make sense of the mayhem unfolding before them;
Five masked figures comprising of a drummer at the rear of the stage; across the front three androgynous figures, two wrapped in vivid pink jumpsuits, one in a more traditional boiler suit, leaving the only gender apparent other decked out in black rock n’ roll leather though his face has been masked and resembles a Nam’ napalm victim…each of them wielding a bass guitar!!
Some 30 minutes earlier Evil Blizzard had stepped onto the stage and begun hammering out their genuinely unique sound; a bastard collision of Hawkwind’s space rock, the hypnotic repetition of Spiritualized, elements of Krautrock though the whole thing is slowed to at times drone proportions, then come the disembodied vocals…
There is a relentless grinding to Evil Blizzard, a pummelling (sub) sonic wall of noise that wraps itself around you; however Evil Blizzard are not content with just challenging your musical conceptions…
Evil Blizzard are about visual spectacle, a band who set out to mess with the contents of your head, each member moving slowly, deliberately about the stage – at times it seems choreographed though that suggestion is soon dispensed with as various members attack each other, hurl their guitars into the audience and sit atop speaker stacks; the simple act of masking a face should not create such a barrier between band and audience, perhaps it’s the masks chosen? A selection ranging from the entirely featureless asexual to the look of your sexual deviant complete with Court order preventing him walking past your kids school yard – its unsettling, it’s disturbing and from this this disadvantaged position you are then assaulted by their unforgiving sound as they draw tracks from their forthcoming ‘The Dangers of Evil Blizzard’ album…titles such as ‘Sacrifice’, ‘Feed The Flames’ and ‘Open Up The Red Box’…subterranean throbbing bass, filthy riffs all delivered at ear shredding levels whilst the repeated cry of “are you mellow, Mello Mello” ricocheted around the room before the drummer bellows “I’ve seen a whale, I’ve seen a bomb…I’ve never seen a whalebomb” at which point a figure decked out in a white boiler suit and alarmingly realistic bloodied pigs head mask staggers through the audience and ascends the stage, then all hell breaks out as the 20 minute track is reduced to just 10 mins during which two of the bass quartet alight the stage and proceed to initially engage in a bass clash before taking to hurling each other to the floor as the ‘song’ builds to a climatic conclusion, ‘Pig Face’ then assaults them both as audience members take up the guitars to maintain the aural mayhem – simply breath taking, Evil Blizzard deliver one of the most intense performances you are likely to see; there is palpable danger on display here…
Evil Blizzard are so much more than a band, they clearly fully understand the art of performance – it might be prudent to see them now before they are invited to transfer their appearances to festival stages and performance art exhibitions.