Midweek in the centre of Bristol at the iconic music venue The Fleece, a handful of strays stood outside in the cold waiting for the doors to open. Despite the weather, one fan still managed to arrive wearing his Earthless T shirt. Crazy – but this was going to be one hell of crazy night. San Diego’s finest Californian trio Earthless were going to be playing one of the first legs of their European Tour after the release of their latest album Black Heaven before heading back home to continue touring the States.
Support tonight was given by Bristol based 3 pieced band Olanza. Although a little late on stage and without much of an introduction, they hit the crowd with instrumental tracks comprising of mixed tempos and complex guitar riffs. With only a short set due to time and no vocals, it was the intricate guitar solos and feral drumbeats that livened up the crowd.
Next up on stage were Comet Control, a psychedelic rock band from Toronto who join Earthless on their tour. With a blend of rock and indie style sounds combined with an array of fuzz guitar effects, Comet Control managed to get the crowd moving with a lively and mesmerising performance. The Fleece was now packed as the crowd had made their way towards the stage whilst the band techs eradicated any kit to make room for the final set.
As the room darkened and the crowd grabbed a quick beer, the monitors on stage were moved back in line with the drum kit that had been placed at the back of the stage for the entire night. Earthless entered the stage and the crowd started to cheer. The atmosphere in the room changed – it was warm with a sense of calm. But that was only until lead guitarist and singer Isaiah Mitchell conversed with the crowd then picked up his beaten Fender and unleashed a sound that can only be described as a supersonic vibe. Throw in some thunderous and thrashing drums from Mario Rubalcaba and fast-paced bass played by Mike Eginton, and you’ve got a gargantuan and diverse twist of heavy psychedelic Krautrock. It was immense and mind-blowingly loud. But this retro yet modern style of heavy rock was in a league of its own sending listeners on a frenzied trip out of this world.
During ‘Gifted By The Wind’ the vocals had faded due to a technical hitch, but no one seemed phased by it. The crowd both young and old were nodding their heads and closing their eyes whilst they absorbed this unique and captivating sound. They were in a trance and loving every moment of it.
After an extended track with the most incredible guitar solo, the crowd were in their element and so were the band. Then after a short break the band took it down a notch before the final track of the night was blasted out to the crowd who roared with approval.
Fundamentally creating instrumental music, it was the long and ‘trippy’ guitar solos played by Isaiah that stole the show with the band being renowned for their ad-lib on-stage jamming sessions. But Earthless had such aptitude; they made it look like a walk in the park.
Review and Photography by Emma Painter
Pacific Curd Photography : http://www.pacificcurdphotography.co.uk