The dark, incessantly echoing guitar sounds that typifies Idle Cranes inadvertently gives them a lackadaisical edge — an air of the casual that teeters on the edge of indifference. It’s attractive, but simultaneously confusing. Nominal frontman Jon’s stern buttoned-to-the-neck military garb reinforces this fancy — a more-than-likely misleading sense that we’re being played at, rather than played to. The mask slips a bit when Jakeb occasionally rocks back on his heels and lets rip, layering a harmonic of dimly heard screaming under Jon’s voice, as if from a distance of, say, 20 miles. The added muscle is pleasing, both visually and sonically — so much so that I’m prompted to make a mental note to check them out again soon.
From memory, I wrote a few months back that I wasn’t convinced that Celeste Potter’s vocals had the grunt to match the pummelling aggression that personifies Ouch My Face. What on earth was I thinking? Her banshee wail not only cuts through more effortlessly than a diamond-tipped chainsaw, it is the perfect complement to the high-intensity shredding and pulverising bass and percussion of their thrash-punk. Potter’s intensity is almost frightening to behold as the band belts out a slew of tracks from their new, self-titled EP, and the crowd responds in kind. Until tonight, I never knew it was possible to crowd surf inside Ric’s. Ouch My Face could easily become the addiction you never want to break — viscerally exciting to watch, brilliant songs to boot and Potter’s skills with her axe are simply breathtaking.