Written By James Waddington |
I’m going to have to come clean: a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of Tinnedfruit or even been to a gig at AMATA, so I really didn’t know what to expect before going to see them on the 23rd March.
After a quick scroll through their social media, I was excited by what I saw: these lads really go for it at their live shows, and even infamously broke the floor in Jacobs Ladder!
The tunes weren’t too shabby either. Their latest album Boring Art reminded me a lot of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, and I would also argue there was definite Sonic Youth vibe in their sound.
On the night, support came from Brighton punk duo Skinny Milk, taking to the stage topless. When they started playing, it sounded like there was a lot more than two people up there, as bassist and singer Johnny navigated his way through a plethora of pedals.
The wall of sound being projected from the stage bounced around the room, much like the audience. I must say this is something that really impressed me: countless times I have watched a support band give their all playing to a room of people on their phones.
However, to their own credit (as if they really needed much persuading anyway) the crowd at AMATA fully immersed themselves into the eargasms of Skinny Milk. Where other two-piece bands might sound empty, the band relished in their tightness whilst avoiding repetitiveness. Their sound was at times very psychedelic and I’m hoping that their future work explores this avenue more deeply.
…Crooning guitar riffs, a bassist who must have fingers of steel and a drummer who’s just a bit f**king mental.
Enter Tinnedfruit. Vocals filled with reverb, crooning guitar riffs, a bassist who must have fingers of steel and a drummer who’s just a bit f**king mental. The complimentary AMATA ear plugs that I picked up after Skinny Milk turned out to be a good choice.
The songs from their first 2 albums and earlier EPs followed the tried and tested punk format: start simple, build and build, and then go berserk. However, their most recent album, released last year, whilst definitely still punk, takes their sound in a new direction. Boring Art is definitely something fresh, yet it’s still very identifiably Tinnedfruit.
I appreciated thier ability to show a softer touch in more striped back tunes, such as ‘Selfdom’ – however in its latter stages this did morph into the heavier garage stuff that was more faithful to the majority of their set. Whilst the three were undeniably more than comfortable and had a great chemistry, I do feel that they benefited from the addition of Falmouth’s own Luke Moss (a.k.a. Kieran Clark) who joined them onstage for a three-song shredding stretch mid set, and again for the closing number.
A personal highlight from the new album is the song ‘Doe’. I think this is one of Boring Art’s more experimental tracks, with a real groover of a riff – when I listened to it at home I was intrigued to see how they would pull this one off live. I think having two guitars made all the difference in this instance and so, needless to say, they did not disappoint.
Another favourite was ‘Oh Matron’ – more of a classic punk track, and one that the crowd loved. The band’s ability to descend into darkness and emerge out the other side really shone through in this song and made it a pleasure to watch live. A further fan-favourite (as evidenced by the wall-of-death mosh-pit it produced) was ‘Racecar’, the last song of the night, taken from 2017’s debut Sad Party.
If you’re looking for complete musical diversity and a band that pushes genre boundary then maybe Tinnedfruit aren’t your cup of tea (or at least not quite yet). But if you want a band that does exactly what its says on the tin (excuse the horrendous pun), and that does it bloody well, then get yourself to a Tinnedfruit gig.
Tinnedfruit’s latest album is testament to their musicianship in its progressive style…
While punk can sometimes get boring and samey, and where it would have been really easy for these guys to go and make another version of their last LP, for everyone to happily bang their heads to, I think Tinnedfruit’s latest album is testament to their musicianship in its refreshingly progressive style.
Also, aside from the music, both bands were absolute gents. Really modest and genuine people that had all the time in the world to talk to us about shitty service stations, pigeons and grapes.
Check out ‘Backstage with… Skinny Milk’ here.