one rock + two rock = math rock
Rob Ford Explorer // Frantic @ Broadcast
Things got polyrhythmic at Broadcast last Friday night. We were lucky enough to host Nevadan math rock duo Rob Ford Explorer as they passed through town on their joint UK tour with local boys Frantic. Shout out to both our support acts on the night, Greater the Divide and Canal Capitale, both of whom heavily contributed to what was a night of great music and great vibes.
The atmosphere on the night was more akin to that of a flat party full of old mates than a tour date.The crowd was supportive and exuberant, and that energy fed into the night’s acts as band after band delivered a stellar set. Canal Capitale opened with electricity before passing the baton over to Greater the Divide, who delivered the best set I have seen from them so far. Though all songs I have heard before, they played every one with a level of confidence and bravado that you rarely see from bands in a support slot. Stuart Bradleys regimented performance on the drums carried the performance well, giving the guitarists and bassist the freedom to express themselves, and that they did. Ewan Cruickshank’s searing guitar leads galvanised the high end of the performance, whilst the low end was safe and sound in the hands of bassist, Charles Bradley. Frontman Josh Pirie’s stage antics were memorable as ever, and was the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake.
It was then time for the first of our headliners, Frantic, to take the stage with their trademark moody math rock. Frontman Rory Green was as technically impressive as ever, noodling his way around his guitar in emphatically, while delivering song after song of morose, longing lyrics. Michael Christie’s performance on the bass was as assured as ever, and his blown out vocal delivery added a dynamic to the performance that one might call “frantic”. Green’s false chord delivery on certain songs was a healthy departure when things started to get comfortable, and breathed life into the performance around the halfway point. As Frantic progress as a band, it will be interesting to see how they experiment with their songwriting and performance in order to take them to the next level, as they are currently flirting with being a truly incredible band.
Finally, Rob Ford Explorer took to the stage to take us home. Guitarist Cameron Sax’s use of tone and timbre over the performance was a sign of a mastercraftsmen, each passage felt deliberate, unique, and genuinely exciting. This level of care and precision was perfectly married with the drumming ability of Greg Lewis, who delivered one of the best performances I have seen from a musician in a while, let alone from a drummer. Clearly a jazzman, Lewis’ use of cymbals and snare was something to be admired. As he drifted into his own world of musical understanding, we in the crowd could only watch and wonder. The duo’s mutual understanding was the key to the overall success of the set, however. This is a couple of guys who are making some fantastic music, and are loving every second of it.