Quicksand: The Smiths, Rhythms and Punk Rock

Quicksand at Camden's Electric Ballroom

Quicksand at Camden’s Electric Ballroom

Quicksand are one of those bands that I missed out on seeing live in their heyday, so they justified a road trip with a good bunch of mates to see them in Camden’s Electric Ballroom. To my mind, they’re one of the most important modern rock bands. If their own material wasn’t evidence enough, then the fact that their personnel have been involved with Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Rival Schools and Deftones should have you persuaded.

If you’re going to use the above list as comparators, Quicksand err closer to the rhythmic riffs of Deftones than Rival Schools’ post-hardcore and ambience. Sam Siegler and Ian Love of Rival Schools are both gifted musicians who focus on the technical side, which meant that gigs were never raucous affairs. The focus seemed to be on recreating the soundscapes of their LPs, but I’d always end up with a smile on my face because they somehow managed it.

Quicksand on the other hand put on a big live show. It’s important that they’re tight as they play lots of lurching rhythms and big chord changes, but each band member puts on a big performance that correlates with that big sound.

At the gig I also saw something I’d never seen before – a good cover of the Smiths’ How Soon is Now? Unlike Hundred Reasons’ version, Walter Schreifels never attempts to mimic Morrissey’s vocal stylings, and they don’t copy Johnny Marr’s jangly guitars, they make it part of their own heavy sound.

Quicksand were a bit before their time, so it was nice to see a packed venue, and their sound seemed to fill the venue to the brim. If you’re intending on investigating 90s post-hardcore, I suggest you start here.

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About Dyfrig Williams

Music Bendigedig is a blog about the gigs I (Dyfrig Williams) get to go and see. I’m based in Cardiff, so most of the gigs I go to are here, with a few further afield. I don’t aim to be a critic – this is a music fan’s blog, written from that perspective.
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