For Brain Ape enthusiasts, Live At The Unicorn is a testament to the music, artistry and showmanship of the London-based scratch rock trio. The band’s DVD concert footage enhances the intensity of the three musicians, while revealing sonic subtleties within the song arrangements. Considering Brain Ape once had an appearance cancelled due to excessive loudness, Live At The Unicorn is a powerful 30:14 music experience. But this just begins to tell the story.
Audio Visual Textures
Filmed at The Unicorn in London on July 21, 2018 by Galina Rin, Nuri Moseinco and the venue, “Meanwhile,” the opening song on the DVD, from the album Dara O’, is a masterful demonstration of guitar distortion and feedback. With a Marshall 4×12 cabinet and Randall head looming in the background, the meaning of power trio comes alive while watching Live At The Unicorn. At 2:05 into the footage, with the lead-in to “Blood Blister,” things slow down just a bit before Brain Ape frontman and co-founder Minky Très-vain brings the audience closer to the stage as the music morphs toward a different meter. “I want to see you come forward my friends, come forward, I want to see you as fucking far front as possible,” Très-vain announces while gesturing with both hands.
Simply stated, Brain Ape’s rhythm battery is remarkable. Watch closely as bassist and co-founder Sol Alex Albret’s playing reaches far above the bout of the instrument. Of course, Jamie Steenbergen’s drumming is tightly synced within the mix. Various classic songs came to mind, both live and from the studio, including Cream’s “White Room” and Nirvana’s “Serve The Servants.” Not a bad music zeitgeist to be in. The visual concert quality of the DVD from Live At The Unicorn helps bring forth the group’s creativity and concentration. Cameras capture footage up close and from an audience vantage point.
If cranked out jamming is your thing, “Live At The Unicorn” has what you are looking for. Check out “The Quick Brown Dog Jumps Over The Lazy Fox,” from the current Auslander collection. The live DVD version blooms with rumbling melodic thunder. Pressed up against the microphone, you can see and hear how stage diving Très-vain has developed his own vocal style as well as guitar tone. In a way, up until now, this has been an introduction to the serious jamming that happens once Brain Ape is thoroughly warmed-up.
Clocking in at 10:19, “Respect Your Icons” explodes into fret growling bliss. Jamaholics and Brain Ape enthusiasts will have a field day watching the 13:43 “Give Me My P 45,” a staple at concerts. Following “Stop Sulking” and “Das Krokodil Will Barfuß Sein,” the live video release wraps with the 23:13 “Rig It.” All things considered, these are musician’s musicians immersed in making music.
Brain Ape’s Live At The Unicorn, set for release on Dec. 13, 2018, is available now as a pre-order. The DVD can be obtained as part of merchandise bundles on the Schlimbum Records site and at shows during the band’s tour. A Brain Ape DVD launch is scheduled for Dec. 13 at the Dublin Castle in Camden. Also on the bill are Mongrel Dogs, Mantra and Empty Friend.
Live At The Unicorn is directed and edited by Schlimbum Records. The video is produced by Alex Albret, Dom Bolton and Minky Très-vain. The project was supervised by Brain Ape. “Blood Blister” is by Brain Ape [Jacob Powell, Minky Très-vain, Sol Alex Albret]. All songs are written by Brain Ape and published by Schlimbum Records.
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