Metal 2 the Masses Heat 2 – Skypilot, Mosmo Strange, So Long Until the Seance, Erosion
Thursday 18th February 2016 – Voodoo, Belfast
Thursday February 18th in Voodoo was the second heat of Bloodstock’s Metal 2 the Masses (M2TM) competition, with a small yet warmly enthusiastic crowd overseeing what ended up being quite the varied lineup.
First up stoner metal troop Skypilot warmed up said crowd in fine style. Their sound is rather bluesy and swampy, full of chugging, meandering riffs and some sharp, almost tribal drumming. Tracks such as ‘The Bastard Down the Road’, ‘Five Inches’ and ‘M.O.A.S.T’ show a hefty dose of humour, as does their stage banter (“We’re gonna play all of our hits”, their singer jokes). Half an hour later, their beefy, languorous grooves have won everyone over.
Stepping in at the last minute after Baleful Creed had to drop out, up next it’s Mosmo Strange‘s turn. They open with a cover of Edwyn Collins’ ‘A Girl Like You’, which is sorta grungy and schmoozy and actually quite decent, but…one can’t help but refer back to the first ‘M’ in M2TM and wonder what in hellfire this band are doing here? No harm to thm, but it is patently clear that they are NOT Bloodstock material; in fact we would fear for their safety if they played there. It also doesn’t help that there’s a clear split in the band: the guitarist and bassist want to be in Pearl Jam and the singer (who has an electric acoustic guitar!) wants to be in the NME. Their set limps to a halt after not one, but two guitar strings are broken; they never really regain their momentum and the set ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Maybe try Electric Picnic, lads?
Glam/metal/punk rockers So Long Until the Seance follow this rather bizarre inclusion with their own version of bizarre. Clad in black (natch), trailing scarves and leather, they begin with a spooky intro and then proceed to quite simply nail it. Energetic, fun, and not taking themselves seriously for even a second, they are visually striking and camp, yet glossily metallic. The crowd respond with delight (and relief, it has to be said), gathering in front of the stage for the first time tonight to eagerly take in tracks such as ‘Dead Boys’, ‘Overdose’ and new song ‘Stake Through My Heart’, all played with abandon and a strong sense of playfulness. Their raucously entertaining set finishes with a cover of Twisted Sister’s ‘Burn In Hell’ and the hooktastic ‘Dead Pretty’, which contains some of the most flamboyant headbanging ever witnessed. An easy choice made there, then…
Finally, Erosion change the stage set up slightly (drummer Mark Stewart is also their vocalist) then get down to business, which for them is powerful alt-metal with a strong sense of groove and rather thrashy overtones. Despite playing a precise and powerful drumming set, Stewart loses none of his vocal might, while their harmonies are also excellent. Their songs twist and turn and often surprise in the most unexpected way; the total package is tight, relentless and infectious.
When Distortion Project main man James Loveday eventually steps onstage, he announces an NI M2TM first: a two way tie for first. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the two bands going through to the semi finals are S.L.U.T.S and Erosion. Well done, folks!
The third heat of M2TM will be held on Saturday March 19th in the Limelight, featuring Ceaseless Blight, Drakonis, Scimitar and Symptoms of Silence. See below for the Facebook event page: