Live Review: Slaughter Beach, Dog (Nottingham, 14/01/2020)

Slaughter Beach, Dog returned to the UK for the first time since 2018 when they supported Tigers Jaw and Worriers. Since then the band have released their acclaimed 2019 album Safe and No Fear which saw them grow musically and adapt a more expansive sound.

Up first was Dogeyed, a Bristol-based band on the Specialist Subject roster. They sound amazing with surfy, jagged riffs and cool bass lines, creating a jazzy indie sound. There’s enough catchy vocal melodies and guitar riffs to get stuck in your head for weeks.

Their EP Throw the Bones is well represented as well as a bunch of new stuff. Dogeyed have a cool, unique sound which sounds totally fresh in the context of the UK DIY scene. They manage to draw everybody’s attention with an exciting set, creating a good atmosphere early on and managing to set the scene for what’s to come.

Slaughter Beach, Dog took to the stage and with little fanfare launched into “Heart Attack” from their latest album which immediately set the tone for the rest of the night.

Jake Ewald’s vocals are front and centre, supported by typically great sound at The Bodega, which make his spoken-word style on songs like “Black Oak” clear and impactful. They utilise acoustic guitar and keys, and their loud/quiet dynamics come across really clearly. Their musicianship is tight and every song sounds as perfect as the recorded version.

Songs from their older record Birdie and EP Motorcycle.jpg got great receptions, with the stunning “Acolyte” getting perhaps the biggest cheer and singalong of the set. However, songs such as “The Dogs” and “Anywhere” from their latest release, Safe and No Fear, sound incredible.

“Your Cat” is a particular highlight, as the band continue to roll through the songs without stopping for many breaks and chatter is kept to a minimum. It’s good, it allows the band to play about 15 songs in less than an hour.

While the band may get many fans from their ties to Modern Baseball and the emo community, this sounds like something completely different. The songwriting is focused and complex, sounding more mature and refined. There’s a lot of space in the songs and more experimentation, which allows their songwriting to flourish.

The band close out their set with the spoken-word 104 Degrees which evolves into a 5-minute epic. The band left as the crowd shouted for more. Hopefully it won’t be too long until they make it back over to the UK, what a great way to start the year musically.

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Max Qayyum

Max Qayyum

Seeing Your Scene / DIY promoter / Cutting Room / Taco Hell

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