GRAF ORLOCK, LICH, THE QUERELLES + BROKER – Green Door Store - 9th July 2012.
Words by Colum Bell
The first band up were Broker, and due to a late arrival I only got to catch the end of their set. Broker played a sort of noise rock in the same vein as Jesus Lizard, Botch and Cave In, and sounded pretty good for what seemed like a new band. Next up were the Querelles who played rock and roll. They were pretty good, but I couldn’t help feeling that they didn’t quite fit tonight’s bill. Part of me was expecting them to be somewhat heavier.
Due to a late start it was almost 10.15pm before Lich from Kent, and the main support for the tour took the stage. They brutally stormed through a short (around 20 minutes!) but sweet and sludgey set.
Graf Orlock didn’t start until around 10.40pm, but it was certainly worth the wait. The previous bands were like the trailers in comparison, as Graf Orlock’s blend of cinema and grind made it feel like I was about to watch a high speed, adrenaline fuelled, action flick.
Opening with the THX sample and launching straight into "Game Time" from the "Destination Time Tomorrow" EP, they blew me away like the high speed assault of some Hollywood action opening. The sound was loud and tight and they busted through a number of tracks from the "Destination Time" Trilogy, such as "Tactical Destruction" and "Run Over by A Truck". Each featured super cinematic samples, brutal guitar work, and awesome blast beats that drummer Alan Hunter delivered with precision. They had me grinning like a fool and head banging like a bastard.
When they launched into the epic Conan themed "Days of High Adventure", opening with the classic line, “To crush your enemies, See them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of the women”, fists were raised all around and some of the crowd kept an energetic but small pit alive. After the Indiana Jones themed "Captives of Thugee", and a few bars of Sabbath’s "Sweet Leaf", Graf Orlock pounded through "50 Year Storm" and ended with another cinematic classic, "The Dream Left Behind". Singer Karl Bournze was crowdsurfed out past the curtain to their reconstruction of the epic Jurassic Park theme!
I find that some grindcore bands can end up sounding muddy live, with clarity lost in the speed of the set. However, Graf Orlock’s storming set and excellent tight sound make them a truly standout grindcore band. You can even pick up the Doombox EP plus the Entire Destination Time Trilogy, as a cool foldout boombox! I recommend checking them out if you’ve not done so already.