Live Review

Creature With The Atom Brain, Sodra Teatern, Stockholm

It seems that when Jack White asked these guys to play with his band on the ‘Horehound’ tour, he could not have picked a more intriguing species for us to watch.

Jack White

is a man known for his interesting musical choices, and the support band on The Dead Weather’s most recent UK/European jaunt is no exception. Named after a song by cult psychedelic fuzz-lords 13th Floor Elevators, ex-Millionaire and Mark Lanegan keyboardist, Aldo Struyf’s band Creature With The Atom Brain are one part ‘vintage rock’ and two parts ‘Desert Session’, making a burly cocktail of lysergic grunge-fuelled 6 minute guitar romps, with plenty of monster riffage and a hard-edge shine.

Struyf is certainly a creative frontman – one minute, he’s reeking of both Cobain-style intensity and Beck’s monotone croon on the more singable lo-fi songs like ‘Spinnin’ The Black Hole’ and the grinding groove ‘Transylvania’, and the next, he’s freestyling with his band as wildly as a road-rage loon bolting from a Cop in a good chase scene. The other ‘Creatures’ are also tight players, particularly the drummer Dave Schroyen, whom, during the final instrumental and “dance song” of the set, commands a military-style snare, which spearheads the random tempo-changes and clatter of instrumentation into a satisfyingly ear-splitting end. At no point does the music sound like noise for noise-sake– as the band generally have the right loud-soft quota and just enough ‘tune’ to keep the likes of Dean Fertita (Dead Weather/QOTSA) banging on about them and The Dead Weather fans hanging around for the headline set.

Had their performance exceeded this 35 minute continuous stream of songs, the melodic repetition, drawn-out riffs and over-spillage of sonic boom could have possibly grown tiresome. Though in the context of a downtown club (the show being downsized from the city’s Cirkus Theatre, known for running ‘Cats’), Creature With The Atom Brain’s bark not only managed to match its bite, but also wrestled it to the ground with a stomp and a growl. It seems that when Jack White asked these guys to play with his band on the ‘Horehound’ tour, he could not have picked a more intriguing species for us to watch.

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