During World War II, renowned polymath Jacob Bronowski worked in secret for Allied Bomber Command. He helped develop mathematical approaches to bombing patterns, which would maximise the damage dealt to the Third Reich’s buildings, factories and railways. After the Battle of Britain confirmed the RAF’s domination of the skies of Europe, inexorably the tide begin to turn against the Nazis, and bombing runs could strike in to Axis territory, with catastrophic damage.
It’s a good example of great precision put to devastatingly effective use, and somehow it springs to mind as soon as I see runWALK! taking the stage at The Borderline tonight.
Bassist and vocalist Matt Pickering-Copley builds a number of looped melodies using an impressive bank of pedals, while Tom Clements looks on, beaming from ear to ear behind his drum kit. Matt looks up from his pedals and leans in to the mic simply stating “we are runWALK!” before the wall of brutality that is ‘Back of my Mind’ explodes across the venue.
This a breakneck balancing act between heavy yet complex riffage, and fast and aggressive drumming. Tom moves like John Bonham: fast, hard and seemingly requiring arms more numerous than the standard issue two. Vocally it is reminiscent of Dennis Lyxzen of Refused – yelped, direct.
With just bass guitar and drums, these guys sound like the apocalypse is just about to happen and all we can do is stand around, look stupid and watch the carnage unfold. The periods of calm feel like the eye of the storm, providing a chance for everyone to recover, including the sweating duo on stage; it’s genuinely astounding that two people can make so much noise.
As they blast through a set of ear-splitting howlers, the energy of the crowd and band feed off each other to create a virtuous circle of noise and stunned applause. The band finish their set the where they started – layering loops on the bass – before unleashing another wall of sound as a parting shot to the battered ears and grinning faces of the audience. Both melodic and immensely noisy at the same time, the self-proclaimed ‘spazz-drums-bass-indie-freakout kids’ are genuinely thrilling.
This post originally appeared on Spoonfed on 22 August 2011