When the word ‘instrumental’ is used in conjunction with describing a band’s sound, both ‘post’ and ‘rock’ usually have a tendency to follow not too far behind. But Tonight, in a narrow upstairs pub room, the intricately minded trio of Brontide prove that these two, four letter words do not always need to appear. Never ones to settle for the obvious, they instead thrust themselves away from the simple idea that it is best to batter the audience with stereotypical quiet/loud/even louder dynamics and instead rejoice in presenting a more complex game-plan that cherishes having an overriding melodic sense and a toughened, deeply valued spine. Bounding headfirst into a frenzied, strong willed and equally hard fought performance, it swings to being a danceable hard-hitting version of Math rock that’s rich in overly complicated rhythmic riffs and shifting time signatures, at times so complicated that it’s as if the trio have each swallowed a copy of a PHD level algorithmic textbook, digested the mind-melting formulas contained within its pages and developed a habit of regurgitating them back in a highly consumable musical form that’s easy to comprehend. People should want to get acquainted with this band. Not unlike Battles, they make clever easy.
By Nathan Westley
Originally published in issue 20 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. August 2010