When I saw the infamous steps of King Tut’s Wah Wah hut, which were bedecked with hallowed names such as Oasis, Artic Monkeys, and Biffy Clyro, I was ready to see a night of music. The first acts of the evening were Sobriety, Messed Up Youth, and Gelatine. All three hail from Glasgow and their psychedelic resonances constructed a homely atmosphere as they set up nicely for the main band of the evening: the three-piece garage/psychedelic Shredd.
At 11 o’clock all seemed to fall quiet. The anticipation of seeing such a heavy band caused the excitement to be palpable and the crowd definitely felt it. This excitement was compounded even further when the three walked on stage. They checked their instruments, adjusted their peddle boards and looked at each other to start their first song. The crowd cheered and I cheered too. We were ready, and so were they.
The lead ripped open a power chord from his crimson-horned guitar to start the carnage, and the place began to shake. Rolling forward like a freight train they blasted into In My Head, a strange song that opens with a sample from the 1967 UK TV-Show, The Prisoner which is followed by the slow beating of ferocious chords that seemed to rip the air apart. Every head in the room began to nod to the rhythm. When the band played, Freak Out, so began the moshing. I’ve been waiting to see this intensity at a Shredd gig for a while. The crowd’s energy directly matched that of the band: the pushing and stomping, mixed with the incredible light display and smoke machine, made for a phantasmagoric display of raw fuzz. The band played on like some heavy incantation from a distant colourful planet.
Whilst they are not tearing venues apart with their sonic battering-rams, Shredd are incredibly nice guys. They’re a modest band on the scene and talking to them afterwards I was impressed by their laid-back approach to music making. They take gigs when they can and go hard when they’re on stage, but all in all they are in it for the sheer joy of performing and making music with each other. This modesty mixed with their skilled technical abilities on the instruments makes them a thoroughly enjoyable band to listen to and see live – and they’re only getting better. Their new release, Rot, adds to their lethal discography of powerful, head-banging music and it will grace any playlist you put it in, as well as invigorating you with raw energy.
The band’s influences for their songs are eclectic and range from a series of psychedelic concepts such as anti-government sentiment, perception (or perception that’s made strange, for example in songs like What’s This I See and In My Head, the latter of with is accompanied by a video stitched together by scenes from the avant-garde movie They Live and popular culture newsreels) as well as imaginative dream songs which seem to construct another world like we see in The Cave, Hideout, and The Switch.
Shredd continue the common theme in psychedelic music: instrumentality over vocals. The lyrics are not the driving force for this band, Harv’s voice is only an accompaniment for the power of the guitar, bass and drums. In this sense the instruments seem to melt into their own voice, and the array of pedals the band employs works to distort, volumize, charge or effectively enhance that voice. This gives Shredd an absolute plethora of experimentality to play with which shook the crowd on this rainy Thursday night.
My ears were ringing, my blood was pumping and my head was spinning when I left the gig. Through the effect of their songs my perception was altered and my imagination was stimulated. The psychedelic experience Shredd offers with their music grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you, until you have no choice but to bang your head to the uproarious power chords and thundering drums. It’s an experience like no other. The Glasgow scene cannot wait to see what more this band has to offer.
SHREDD TILL YER DEAD.