LIVE: deathcrash @ St.Pancras Old Church, London

On a damp night at the edge of lockdown, St. Pancras Old Church was a fitting venue for deathcrash's hypnogogic wall of drone.
Posted: 21 October 2020 Words: Miles Ellingham

It felt like a funeral, albeit one with an unstable ratio of London hipsters. deathcrash, the homemade, post-rock fusion of bands Sorry and Famous, signed to Warm Laundry Records in 2019 and came into view with ‘Slumber’, a hypnogogic, dreary mix of spoken-word and arpeggiated guitar riffs. The group continued recording deep into the plague and released the single ‘Blind’ earlier this year – a track that stretches the sadboy continuum a little further, clean as can be before the distortion wall hits with malice. 

In many ways St.Pancras Old Church was the perfect venue for the occasion; a damp night on the edge of lockdown and a graveyard surrounded by half-finished, new-build developments. We sat on what used to be pews, socially distanced, and looked past the chancel towards a sanctuary half-hidden behind dry ice. The band took to the stage awkwardly, one of them mumbled something inaudible and they began. 

The thing about deathcrash is that they wear their influences on their sleeve and their members hail from the same post-punk rebirth. Much of their material sounds joltingly similar to Slint’s infamous, Spiderland – which is no bad thing necessarily - and the post-rock inversion seems an all-too-natural inheritor to a scene dominated so indefatigably by a zombified post-punk tradition. It was, however, a blessing to have your thoughts drowned out by drone guitar licks so close to another lockdown desert stretch and there’s a subliminal zen quality to the slow pace of it all. Tiernan Banks’ vocals too were conceptually interesting; the words – some allegedly ripped from his inbox - were muffled and indiscernible from one another. It’s hard to know whether this was intended, but the resultant effect was to have the lyrics fade back behind the lead guitar, graduating to become an honorary member of the rhythm section. With only the faintest acknowledgement of the audience’s presence, the gig moved at a slow pace towards the inevitable curfew. I must admit, however, that by the time the last song came around I was thinking mainly about how uncomfortable and hard the wood of my chair felt, which probably isn’t a good sign. 

To hear more from deathcrash, click here.

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