Saturday, 13 September 2014

15/12/2012 Healthy Junkies @ The Unicorn

SubjectHealthy Junkies @ The Unicorn
DateCreated12/25/2012 5:43:00 PM

Another free gig at The Unicorn in Camden this Saturday - quite well attended as usual.
You can't go wrong really - four rock bands on the bill so you will probably like at least one of them, and even if you don't then it hasn't cost you any money to get in and you can still enjoy a reasonably priced pint.

Tonight's entertainment start off with Local Girls.

OK, so only the singer and drummer are actually girls, but what do you want for free? The music is quite heavy and very grungey - Mudhoney come to mind. The singer has an easy and relaxed stage persona - making you curious enough to think about seeing them again.

Next up are the ever dependable Healthy Junkies - introduced by a bass solo from T.J. Tarrantino before the rest of the band join in.

More new songs continue to appear in the set from the band's forthcoming album, as well as their excellent debut 'Sick Note'

Healthy Junkies seem be be becoming regular performers at this venue, and their brand of catchy pop/punk tunesmithery seems to be winning people over as people are coming to see them again and again.

This band have put a lot of hard work into writing and recording as well as regular gigging over several years now and it is starting to pay off - the band are noticeably more polished than they were a year or so ago and people are noticing.

The first two bands on tonight's bill were completely different, and this continues with Generation Graveyard.

They have obviously put more into their image and attitude than any other band on tonight's bill. The show starts with the entire band standing motionless with their backs to the crowd in a very contrived manner. There is a intro tape or something, and instruments feeding back. This goes on for at least a couple of minutes with the band not moving - eventually someone shouts out "Get on with it you drama queens!". Unfortunately, they do.

They have a great (if not very original) image, but they sound dreadful. It's not that they can't play or have shit equipment - I think they actually want to sound like this. Generic downtuned thrash is all very well - as long as you have actually written some decent songs. People will remember the noise they heard tonight, but they won't remember any songs. And with a sound this bad you need to have noticeably better songs than anyone else to shine through the wall of mud and sludge. If only these boys had spent as long working on their songwriting as they had posing in front of their mirrors at home them maybe after several years they still wouldn't be playing free gigs in pubs.

The Camden sleaze rock scene was awash with countless bands who looked and sounded exactly like this several years ago - these guys are almost the last ones standing. King Lizard are the other notable survivors, but they have at least progressed a bit with their songwriting and don't take themselves quite so seriously these days. I never thought I'd say a band should actually look up to and learn from King Lizard but...

Final band of tonight's varied bill is In Evil Hour.

This band's singer has good image and stage presence.

Unfortunately the music is very generic hardcore with no particularly memorable songs. However, both their sound and material is an improvement on the previous act's.

Not a great bill at The Unicorn tonight, but worth turning up to check the bands out - you can't go far wrong if it's free to get in. To me Healthy Junkies were definitely the band of the night - largely on account of having by far the best songs, but to be fair to Generation Graveyard they did bring quite a few people in the door.

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