Live Review from Girls with Guitars 4:
1. The Mountains Are Moving
2. New Solution
3. Who Do You Think You Are?
4. Still Want You More
5. Something in the Water
6. Sunny Does it For the Money
New Tonic Press’ set heralded the night’s oddity of having the drummer being enclosed behind the transparent panels while playing their hands off (I was almost expecting carbonite to pour down…would’ve made for a much better still). And indeed, NTP’s drummer is absolutely fantastic – his style has Matt Cameron’s engaging rhythms and Dave Grohl’s (in the Scream years) frenzied pace and strength. This suits singer/guitarist Sue Shearman’s guitar style – dirty alt.-blues with some post-punk in there too – to a T. This sort of combination, though, is a dime-a-dozen, and what makes them unique is violinist Charliah Best; the sweet violin replaced the lead guitars and contrasted well with Sue’s guitar. Which was good, ‘cause the mix was not brilliant that night, and they didn’t have their bassist with them (whose absence left a noticeable gap in the sound); being unconventional was a good balm for these sores.
New Solution could’ve been a 90s Pearl Jam song, with a deep and dissonant melody that’s executed understatedly. Still Want You More was a cracking song, with something of a rockabilly feel (which, again, would’ve been much better with a bassist) mixed with garage-rock textures. The violin accents on this one were particularly exciting, as they were on Something in the Water. The song’s heavy, melancholic riff was one that cut through the muddy mix and hit you, backed up by the stinging sarcasm in the lyrics and vocal delivery. They way their songs are constructed, though, it’s very hit-or-miss; perhaps it’s the dark side of having a violin in the band, but the quality of composition varied even within the same song, and they tended to peter out rather than finish definitively. Again, though, theirs’ was a good chaser to the previous set and the songs were fun to listen to, so they can be given the benefit of doubt for that night.
New Tonic Press是一隊演出folk blues音樂的樂隊，今次演出的陣容有主音兼結他手Sue Shearman、小提琴手Charliah Best及鼓手Malte Noack。主音Sue的聲音華麗而具有個性，而最令人印象深刻的是小提琴手的獨特演出。當歌聲、結他及鼓演奏較為低沉而複雜的音樂時，小提琴以簡約柔和而不失力度、及不斷重複的旋律中，穩定及帶領著歌曲的方向，使慣常於古典音樂出現的小提琴和諧地與結他及鼓對話，使New Tonic Press的音樂充滿著古典氣息，有很大的感染力。這兩位女樂手Girl with Guitar及Girl with Violin於當晚的演出都同樣出色。