Saturday, January 11, 2014

MAINLINER & WÖLFBAIT (live); Acid Mothers Temple (recorded)

I went to see MAINLINER recently. I went on the basis that they are a side project of the popular Japanese sensations Acid Mothers Temple. They were playing in the Grand Social, a venue in part of what used to be the monster pub Pravda.

MAINLINER were supported by Wölfbait, a local act. They are a band I associate with the world of Hunters Moon and all that, but I am not sure if they actually are linked (I could be mixing them up with Wölflinge or someone like that). Anyway, they were quite good in a broadly experimental kind of way, but not so engaging that I can remember too much about them several weeks later after taking no notes at the concert.

MAINLINER themselves comprise Kawabata Makoto (as you know, the AMT frontman) and a couple of other people. One of them is the current AMT drummer (or the guy who was drumming last time I saw AMT, or something), while on bass they had a sexy lady. Or so I thought, based on her attractive dress and long black hair, but then I realised it was actually a man sporting these items. Oh well, least said, soonest mended. And I think that was it — power trio action.

They certainly rocked out, and I could not fault the musicianship etc., but this did not quite fall into place for me. Maybe I am just too much of an AMT stalwart to enjoy seeing Kawabata onstage, knowing that he is not going to launch into 'La Novia' or 'Pink Lady Lemonade'. At the time I found myself concluding that I just prefer AMT to AMT side-projects, though of course since then I have learned that MAINLINER are the band Kawabata was in before Acid Mothers Temple. Still, whatever the reason I only half-liked this concert.

Nevertheless, I feel obliged to buy an album or two every time I see Acid Mothers Temple or a subset thereof. With other bands I shun records with saucy covers, but somehow this time I decided that the best thing to do would be to purchase the record with the most salacious cover. So I went for an album by Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno entitled For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Goofy Funk? The cover features two young ladies who are very good friends.

The record is entertaining, as is always the case with AMT. The first track is a surprisingly funky tune called 'Space Hurricane Funky Night'. While it does not disappoint in its guitar wig-outs, the overall sound is rather different to what one expects from Acid Mothers Temple. This is not a problem. They follow that with a much heavier short tune (only six and a half minutes) before the very long title track gets into its own stoner groove, again one owing a surprisingly large debt to the world of the funk. Finally a ten minuter with vague sitar and faux Theremin noises brings the album to an end. Like most AMT records you could argue that it is no more essential than any others of their releases, but that would largely be to miss the point.

image source

An inuit panda production

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