Archives for posts with tag: Earthtone9

In the days when we waited for Earthtone9 to reform, we clung to anything and everything that former band members were putting out in the hope that one day they would come back together. Thankfully, the early 90s band are back again approximately 10 years later and stomping face once more but singer Karl’s material from his other bands like The Blueprint and Twin Zero remain fantastic. Tunes like this still hold their weight:


(First posted on on 23/05/2011)

Disclaimer: As with all my music reviews, this is a blow-by-blow account taken from my own perspective and written mostly for myself as a memory aid. I’m not always an expert on the band in question.

It was only 13 years in the making but finally it came. I first heard Earthtone⁹ as a fifteen year old in High School through their seminal track “I Nagual Eye”,  that influenced my later years to go down a more cerebral line of listening, from a band who were dubbed “The British ‘Tool'” and helped me cope with years of a school that wasn’t friendly to anyone who wasn’t a Rangers fan. At that age I wasn’t able or willing to travel down to England to see them play and missed my last chance to dance when they played their final gig in London Garage in April, 2002.

Nine years later and I was celebrating their return as they announced gigs at the end of January, 2011 as well as a new EP. Although everyone was glad to have them back, one big question remained – do they still have it?

The band themselves proclaimed they did and set themselves the hefty challenge of posting 3 cracking support acts before them.

First up was Humanfly who didn’t so much come out of the starting blocks as grind out with riff after riff, which then flowed into yet more riffery. They reminded me of Mastodon but with a more sludgy, muddy sound with less fall back upon vocals necessary due to the oodles of riffs they powered out.

Next in line were Maybeshewill who continued the tone and speed set by Humanfly before them. The post-rock band was interesting to see in a predominantly metal line-up and is steering me towards the idea that post-rock may be the next genre to beat for popularity amongst the alternative crowd over the emo of the last decade. Having said that, Maybeshewill were a heavier kind of post-rock than I’ve been listening to recently and were more reminiscent of Russian Circles than say Explosions in the Sky or even Mogwai.

Lastly, for the support, were The Ocean who overturned the steady, heavy pace of their precursors and upped the speed. I was expecting good things from them when I found people buying up their merchandise in the merch queue and my instincts weren’t proven wrong. Before regaling the crowd of supporting heavyweights Dillinger Escape Plan, The Ocean busted some moves that would have made Dillinger proud. The lead singer got the crowd going by pulling a Greg Puciato dive into the crowd and grabbing those at the front by the back of the head and screaming in their faces. Meanwhile, where me and friend were, the bassist dived in and started going pretty wild giving me a solid jab in the gut with his bass ( !) Despite all this, the crowd didn’t get going completely but it was an impressive effort nonetheless considering what they were following and who they were playing before…

To see some of your heroes on stage not 3 metres in front of you setting up their own equipment before taking the stage proper was a strange experience, but one that made you realise why they were your heroes in the first place. I remember being both suprised and proud to see Chris Pennie, of Coheed and Cambria and Dillinger fame, humbly setting up his own kit in front of a festival audience in Tokyo and I felt a similar feeling for Earthtone⁹ who could have and could still be musical giants in their own right.

As they took to the stage and opened up the first track, “Off Kilter”, Karl Middleton motioned for the crowd to circle-pit and pit they did. The combined force of the support act didn’t get the same response from throughout their sets. Clearly, the mighty Earthtone⁹ still had it. 11 songs later and the rest from there will be history in the making. Expect their mugshots on the front of Kerrang! again soon enough.

Can’t wait to see them again, playing a fuller set list.