Live Review
Comanechi, South of The Border, Shoreditch
Comanechi
No Address1
London
11/12/09

“Please welcome a very special guest… oh, where’s VSO? Oh, she’s having a shit.” If you’ve ever seen The Exorcist, you’ll know that where the real horror lies is in Linda Blair’s ability to bad mouth like a demon sailor (and puke pea green vomit a hundred yards) whilst originally looking like a ‘nice girl’. Sinead Youth – Divorce’s loosely ringlet’d mouth piece – is a similar deal – she looks like she should be picking flowers in meadow in the 1940s, but when she opens her mouth an ungodly, deep, bark comes out.

She rages around to drummer James’ speed metal drumming, ranting about whores on ‘Early Christianity’ and disciplining kids through the confrontational ‘Juice of Youth’. It’s very one dimensional, but an angry, vile dimension we like. Behind Sinead, playing big fuzzy bass riffs (also at a hundred miles an hour), is VSO, but by the time she’s called to the stage to guest on a Comanechi track or five, she struggles not due to toilet business but rather because El Paso is sausage-skin-tight.

Tonight is Comanechi’s long awaited album launch, for their looonnnng awaited debut album, ‘Crime of Love’, and in the basement of a Mexican restaurant, two things are to be expected – what with potty-mouthed singing drummer Akiko also being in The Big Pink, and the band’s label being the achingly hip Merok, it’s going to be a scenester-studded affair (which it is, with A Grave With No Name here, a Big Pink there, an Advert there, oh, and a Jack Penate pictured top left, texting), and it’s also safe to presume that the duo will be chaotic and ultimately quite brilliant.

The chaos is in fact turned down (yeah, this is east London – sigh), but the brilliance of Comanechi’s thrashy, trashy punk pop is in full view. As on the record, ‘Prologue’’s short, glitchy feedback quickly dives into the melodic, pacey crunch of ‘Rabbit Hole’. Simon carves Sonic Youth shapes from his guitar, Akiko teaches her drums a lesson whilst letting out her shrieking J-Pop vocals. That’s the ‘pop’ side of Comanechi, next is their lesser-seen psychedelic state of mind. ‘Mesmerising Fingers’ is a slow, filthy, grungy sex song, tonight played with extra delicacy on its prowling verses and extra ‘uuurh’ when it comes to the thrusting chorus, and ‘On and On’, debuting a post-dump (or not) VSO on bass, is equally as… well… mesmerising, as it lurches about. We all like the fast stuff though, and the days when Akiko would drop to her knees and roll in bar slops, fronting noise band Pre, so, while two is the magic number and a reason Comanechi are so damn sexy, Divorce drummer James is welcomed by all as he releases the tiny singer from kit prison. Akiko, still refrains from stage dives and sequin-spoiling antics (yeah, this is east London, and just look at those threads, maaan), but ‘Crime of Love’ and especially the closing, heavy-then-heavier ‘Death of You’ leave us even more in love with this duo, even if they could do with pinching VSO and James for good.

By Stuart Stubbs

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Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009