AFD Shift - Barfly - Friday 27th June 2008

Three new bands for Chop to have a nose at. Thanks to Mel for putting me (and gig buddy Bill) on the guest list, and Rob and Dave from Adust for the between band chats.

D-Tox. Have been around for a while but have had more than their fair share of ill-fortune with lineup changes. Hopefully their current lineup will give them stability and the chance to push onwards. Band consists of Luke on vocals (thanks for the setlist!), Mark on guitar, Mitch on bass and backing vocals and the recently added Haza on drums. They are listed on their MySpace site as a punk band, although they also display metal and hardcore leanings. Luke has a laid back style both with his vocals and his frontman duties but he's affable enough. Overall sound was a bit thin for me - I'd like to see them with a second guitarist and a harder edged sound. Good to see a drummer using a kicker sparingly instead of the non-stop blast beating that seems to be the norm these days. For the sake of completeness tonight's setlist was Wasted, Waste Of Time, Fall Into Me, Get Off, You Can't Save The World, About Time, So Alone, Silent Sigh and Forbidden. Fellas I understand you are working on new material at the moment; let me know when it's finished please and I'll come and see you again.

Martyr de Mona were the main reason for me being at the gig as I'd been asked to review them. Thanks again to Mel for the introductions to the band members and good to have a pre-set chat with you all! I'd sum up their style as heavy stadium rock, big riffs and good hooks. Melodic yet hard hitting at the same time. Could see these guys going down a storm in the States. Vocals are a lot cleaner than most bands around at the moment and there's plenty of soloing too. Louis takes on the majority of the vocals (and frontman role) and trades lead and rhythm guitar work with Simon who also takes on some of the vocals. Stephen on bass and Jay on drums complete the lineup. Eva and Am I Sorry(?) started the set in blistering fashion. Closure is an equally heavy song although this has lengthy, subtle, intro and outro sections. Four in your face songs wrapped things up in the shape of Mind Ruined Bodies, Divide Et Impera, In Our Defence and Dementia. Tight as a band this was a polished display. They have a confident stage presence and clearly enjoy what they are doing. Jay's drumming was particularly stylish and brutal, hits the kit fearfully hard and seems to have a ludicrous amount of time even when playing intricate rhythms. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. Nowhere near as vicious as my usual listening, but they ooze confidence and with a bit of luck will do very well for themselves.

AFD Shift. Listed in the Metro as "experimental pop-rock & electro combo" ??! Think in English that means they are a crossover band (now there's an Eighties term that hasn't been aired for a while...). Keyboard player, two guitarists, bass, drummer and vocalist they combine a lot of different styles. Closest reference points would be Faith No More, Janes Addiction, Rage Against The Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Keyboards were way too loud for the first couple of songs which didn't endear them to me I'm afraid. Sound improved as they went on but they were nothing special. I've seen this type of thing done much, much better.over the years. Beef up the guitar sound and throw in a few solos and they might be in with a shout. Solid enough musically and tight enough as a band just not distinctive enough.

Martyr de Mona were head and shoulders the best band on the night. Very classy, keep playing gigs like this and they should go on to bigger and better things. Think you may have another convert fellas!!



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