Hands up: I’m a musical elitist.
I don’t mean it in a malicious way, I just have pretty specific standards for music. Those being: it has to be well performed, posses some sort of significant form regarding its genre constraints and it has to ignite something emotionally. Whether that’s eviscerating emotional experience or a nice wee dance is irrelevant.
For whatever reason, Landscapes hadn’t made that connection with me. So I wrote them off. They were clearly talented but if they didn’t evoke those reactions in me, what did I care? I didn’t care.
Until I saw them live twice in the one week. Then I cared. In truth Faith No More-esque fashion, I cared a lot.
Because here’s the thing about being elitist: you know your mind, so you don’t give as many chances. And you forget that sometimes that a band isn’t just their songs on record.
Landscapes it turns out are one of those bands that aren’t just songs on a record. They’re an emotional experience that is best shared with a sweaty crowd with a thirst for catharsis.
Musically the band veer between ferocious hardcore and intricate melancholic melodies which bring to mind everything that was good about the introspection of music in the 90s. Top that off with remarkably impassioned vocals and you’re onto a winner.
If more bands meant it like Landscapes mean it, and if more bands played like Landscapes played at Hevy this year, then the BBC would never be able to run those ludicrous programmes that claim that rock and alternative music is dead.
Dead scenes don’t produce bands as vital on stage as this.