LIVE REVIEW: Thee Alcoholics, Louse, Boy Latex @ The Lubber Fiend, Newcastle (23.02.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Thee Alcoholics by Lee Fisher

I want all-time greatest record label Blast First to spring back to life for the sole purpose of releasing records by Boy Latex, because this magnificently radgy trio belong on the same label as Big Black, Sonic Youth, Big Stick, Head Of David and the rest. Belligerent and scratchy, overdriven guitars, pummelling drums, moments of dizzying noise. All the good stuff. Louse are more gleefully ugly, a lurching stew of riffs and attitude fronted by Sam Booth – mild mannered venue manager offstage, grunting beast with pants full of lager onstage. But don’t be fooled – there’s more to their filth than meets the ears: there’s a real swing to the rhythms and guitars don’t sound that horrible by accident.

After years of watching Rhys Llewellyn battering the living shit out of drums for Hey Colossus, it’s weird seeing him fronting a band, but there he is – battering the living shit out of his guitar and sounding magnificent. Thee Alcoholics – two guitars, drums, keyboards – are one of those outfits who take all your favourite bands, shake them up in a bag until they take a new and brilliant form and make you – well, me – grin all over your stupid face. There’s doomy riffs, a mutant boogie chug, scratchy post-punk and some big, fucked up choruses. At times I’m reminded of Girls Against Boys, Sonic Youth doing Catholic Block, Ten Benson (honestly!), and Melvins. It’s noisy and defiant and there’s strong songs under the roar and Thee Alcoholics are a whole lot of scuzzy fun.  

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