BOSSK + Manatees. The Roundabout, High Wycombe. 09.06.07

Fuck the ambience, fuck the emotion, tonight is about music you can feel in your gut. In fact, when Kent quintet Bossk truly find their groove, you can feel it in your limbs, lungs, heart, eyes and crawling all over your brain. There’s barely a part of the body that their Mastodon meets Isis post-metal doesn’t bruise. But it’s not like this show doesn’t have emotion or atmosphere covered either. While Carlisle trio Manatees have a similar disregard for eardrums (Paul hits his drums like falling bricks and Alex’s bass rumbles so violently it breaks mid-set), they excel at moments of hypnotic calm and swirling, smoky drama too. And, as ‘iii’ builds from tribal percussion to a roaring metallic burn, it fixes to put you in the sort of bug-eyed trance that wouldn’t break for weeks. Luckily the headliners are on hand to snap you back to life. Because, while the Bossk boys clearly enjoy a few quiet, mind-bending moments of their own, it is the weight, power and goddamn monolithic presence of their music that truly impresses. Every level on the soundboard is scraping the red but the band are trap tight and make every twist and crunching turn look easy. By the time a bespectacled frontman sidles through the crowd to scream the end of ‘ii’ the speakers are working so hard you can feel the hot air at the back of the room and glasses are vibrating on the bar. High Wycombe hasn’t heard anything as loud since World War Two. And that’s booming praise indeed.

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