The Festsaal Kreuzberg Keller, freshly (if half-heartedly) refurbished in cheap, unphotographable, silver foil, tonight played host to the deranged Beefheart on Ketamine scrawk of AIDS Wolf, a quartet from Montreal, who make posters, limited run C.Ds and sport variously complicated and deranged hairstyles and number the Unicorns and The Wolf Parade amongst their friends.
The diminutive Chloe Lum, dressed in vampire cape, black leotard, riding boots and a fetching day-glo orange strip painted across her startled black eyes, brought the shriek.
A panic alarm squawk (aimed at the band, as much as the audience) who greeted the Wolves’ late arrival with a sudden swarm of un-divided attention, a scary art wolf howling that wouldn’t have disappointed a Mescalero Apache shaman (at least assuming the buttons had been popped).
This stuff comes by way of Lighting Bolt by way of Locust and a hundred one partially melted bananas, a thriving subcult of traded cassettes now gone international in the internet age. Its dilemma is that provocation, so essential to its worth, diminishes with familiarity. It is not a new dilemma but AIDS Wolf, “The Feel-Bad Band for Desolate Times”, are determined to “embrace the hate.”
Short, brutal and complicated. Each ferocious, screeched, rollercoaster of a non-song was accompanied by riffs and runs that varied between apparent complexity and (self-consciously) retarded avant-guitar abuse. The ferocious speed at which these free-core, ghostpunk, catharsis sessions were conducted, combined with the constant exchange of rhythmic dominance between the drummer, Yannick Desranleau and the two guitarists meant no song seemed longer than a cartoon, a kind of Anarchist math rock.
Perplexity gave way to insistent foot-stamping and the audience, surging forward, started pushing the dimunitive Dracula Lady around. A lit cigarette was thrown at her but she was too busy attempting to garrotte herself with the microphone cable to notice. Somebody shoved her but the aggression was good natured. Euphoric, not violent. The band were agitated, agitating. All kitted out in military khaki with turned up collars and seemingly as hypnotised by Lum’s witchy-woo finger pointing as were the audience.
A man wearing a false looking ginger beard, was dancing violently. A women in a strange puffball ensemble and eighties hair produced a tiny camera, while Lum, Warhol’s tattooed creature of the night, screeched, slurred and screamed on relentlessly. The effect was something like hearing a prematurely senile Kate Bush cut an E.P of Minority Threat covers, far less camp than Callas but considerably funnier.
There were a handful of badly synchronised digital flashes and an encore was demanded as the guitarist stood photographing the audience.
” 7, we should do 7.”
” No way man. I can’t do 7.”
“O.K. 38 ?”
“40 lets do 40.”