REVIEW: Throw Down Bones, Parastatic @ Head Of Steam (6.2.16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Lee Fisher

Parastatic were on great form tonight and seem almost like a different band since the last I saw them. Indeed, new(ish) drummer Rachel is definitely part of their reinvigoration; her drumming hits those propulsive, motorik grooves when needed but she lets loose too, and clearly loves playing, all smiles and hair. A couple of their songs veer a little close to a kind of epically lugubrious eighties indie but for the most part this was wonderful, expansive psych rock, managing to draw from much of the same influences as a lot of their fellow travellers (German kosmische bands, Spacemen 3, hints of shoegaze even) without ever sounding derivative.

The odds were stacked against Italian psych duo Throw Down Bones for this show. They’d arrived the day after what was by all accounts a storming gig in Manchester, backdropped by the White Rabbit Lightshow; so playing a rather vibe-less (and sadly under-attended) Head of Steam must have felt like something of a comedown. Tech problems blighted the set too, and something about their set-up – two rather glum guitarists facing each other across a pile of equipment – didn’t exactly project charisma. But when it worked it was very good indeed, their set switching between a kind of goth psych (their booming drum programming bringing to mind both Big Black’s Roland and the Sisters Of Mercy’s Dr Avalanche) and something more contemporary. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you crossed Faith-era Cure and De Luxe-era Harmonia, wonder no more.

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