Live Review: Pitchshifter @ The Garage in Highbury!

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their “www.pitchshifter.com” album, the return of Nottingham Industrial Metal Legends Pitchshifter for a run of five dates with Earthtone9 came as something of a surprise when it was announced. The “.com” album is arguably the bands most important in that it saw the recruitment of former Prodigy Guitarist Jim Davies and a style shift away from the colder industrial sounds of their first four albums (with 1996 release “Infotainment?” perhaps being the exception to that rule) and a move towards a sound that gave them Platinum success with 60,000 units shifting in the US alone.

Opening tonight are Pedigree [6/10]. When a band appear on stage what they are wearing usually gives you an indication of what they might sound like based on what their influences are. When your frontman/guitarist is wearing a Godflesh t-shirt but your drummer is (sadly) wearing a new Bring Me The Horizon tee, you have no idea, given how far apart those influences are. They come out sounding like a mid career Transport League with some crushing mid tempo riffs, pummelling kit work and a few sprinkled electronics. There might be a trio of guitarists on the stage but there are only a couple of occasions when anymore than one is required. “Learning To Die” is an obvious set highlight.

Earthtone9 [7.5/10] forgo some of their more progressive moments in favour of delivering a more urgent set of songs including a brand new pair. The presence of a Drum Cam on stage and inclusion of a drum solo is impressive,  but it’s the material from arguably their best known work “Arc’Tan’Gent” that goes down a storm with fans singing-a-long throughout with Closer “Tat Twam Asi” being the biggest of those. It’s only fitting that a band from the same Nottingham scene that tonight’s headliners came up in and shared stages with over the last 20 years should be here tonight and the Karl Middleton fronted quintet make the most of the opportunity!

Pitchshifter [10/10] are the main event and play through a career spanning set that sees Mikee Goodman from SikTh appear to guest on “Triad” and “Virus” and Colin Doran of Hundred Reasons appear for “Shutdown”. From the opening of “Microwaved” to the closing of “Genius”, every chorus is a sing-a-long and every verse sees the sold out crowd bouncing along. The presence of an 8 string guitar maybe a surprise for anyone watching on but it works well and the band sound as modern and relevant now as they have ever done. Indeed lyrically, any of the ironic, political and socially aware songs are exactly that. These are songs that stand the test of time and while JS Clayden and the lads might not be getting any younger, they sure as hell know how to put on a show!

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