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Duke Reviews: Teen Brains & Claws

Also Jealous Lovers & Turnover

Fellow Shonkonian Clem Fandango and I took a trip to Clwb in Cardiff last week to see some bands. We hadn’t checked out any of the bands but figured that we’d see what they were like in a live environment first. This is our idea of sheer excitement, Clem cheated somewhat and did checkout Turnover because as soon as I picked him up he remarked “I don’t think you’ll like them”.

It was a sell out gig with the average punter aged somewhere between 17 and 21, eye liner was standard procedure and few people were over five foot, this gave me a prime view of the stage from ‘waaaay’ at the back and out of the way. We decided that with our combined age of about 64 we should stand at the back, arms crossed and nonchalant in an attempt to look like critics and not a pair of speccy weirdos at a teen infested gig.

First up was a band called Jealous Lovers who I think were added to the bill at the last minute because the font is different for their name on the Clwb’s website. Despite them not being ‘my thang’ I enjoyed their sound. The only band I can compare them to is Feeder, that sort of upbeat college radio rock. It was well put together and tight. It reminded me of when I used to hang out with people who could use skateboards and we’d play Tony Hawkes, good times.

The next band was Teen Brains and I can’t stop listening to these guys. A grungy bunch who clearly get well into their sound whilst playing on stage. Their melodic chorus effect whirling through each track with simplistic vocals and traveling ‘twang twang’ rhythms brought to mind Nirvana, Toy, elements of Kitchens of Distinctions and The Horrors. I was incredibly impressed with them and will be adding them to my music collection come payday. Clem and I agreed that they made the price of the ticket worthwhile regardless of the bands due to play. Clem did remark however that he thought that their last track had more potential to stand out as one of their stronger tracks but the impact of the track was reduced by the previous tracks sounding a bit too similar to it. I thought they were great.

The third band was a group called Claws, a four piece of which three had taken their band member roles very seriously. The bassist was tall, lanky and emotionless and cool the entire time they played, much like you’d expect a bassist to be. The drummer was a stocky chap of redhead persuasion in a thick checked jacket and a trucker hat, complete with lumber jack beard. He looked very drummer. On lead guitar was your standard lead guitarist, someone who gets extremely excited to be shredding on stage. The singer, a young lass of unknown age had some cracking lungs on her (yes lungs you dirty buggers), her full sized Danelectro seemed a little unwieldy for a lady of her height but regardless she could smash out some riffs. Their sound was reminiscent of The Pixies, Courtney Barnett and The Wedding Present, we found these guys very enjoyable.

Then Turnover came on, it was their first gig in the UK and they were excited, the crowd were also excited. After the first two tracks John and I were not excited so we endured the third one and left. To summarise they are of shoegaze glittery Emo origins and appealing to the misguided youth. I hope they do well, but they’re really not for me.

Teen Brains & Claws win for ‘see again’ value!


To listen to Teen Brains go here:

for Claws go here:

for a slice of Turnover go here:

About DukeofEarl (74 Articles)
Co-founder and author for The Shonk. Site administrator and general human.

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