Foetal Juice, Sturmtiger, Exiled & Scumpulse @ The Star And Garter
Let’s be honest, The Star And Garter is a shithole. The place is falling apart – if it was ever in one piece to begin with that is – it’s a dingy cesspit a stone’s throw from Picadilly Train Station; a dilapidated old pub that jumps out at you like a gravy stain on a freshly cleaned white buttoned shirt amongst the cleaner, shinier buildings that surround it. But, as a rock community, it’s our cesspit and we wouldn't want it any other way. With its existence under threat to the point of its almost certain demolition to make way for a new platform, as the station plans further expansion. It is, to the corporate schmucks that are behind the plans, a minuscule hurdle in the way of the station’s advancement and growth and one that, if all goes accordingly, will soon be nothing more than a rapidly decreasing speck in their rear view mirror.
Whatever happens to the pub, tonight emphasises just why we love this shoddy little building so much as Napalm Promotions put on another fine evening of metallic debauchery, pummeling riffs and, in all, showcases some of the finest underground talent around.
In the bleakness of the upstairs room, with its creaking floor and all-round grimy feel there is no better setting for Edinburgh’s Scumpulse to skull fuck you with a heady mix of punk acceleration dn black metal battery. They perform with an unadulterated energy that sees sweaty bodies hurled every which way in the crowd. Vocalist/guitarist Ross Necro, in the thrall of it all, split his hand open, staining his camouflaged guitar blood red, delightfully described one song as being about "realising your a fuckin' cunt.” With that, they took what is perhaps an odd mix of styles and weld them together excellently.
No strangers to Napalm Shows, having rattled the Retro Bar a few months back with their old school, death-tinged thrash, Exiled made a welcome return. The liverpudlian bands draw from the likes of Sodom and Kreator, with breakneck riffs and gargled vocals, their sound may not be much in the way of originality but any anarchistic thrash as well executed as this cannot be argued with.
London three-piece Sturmtiger, who have christened their own sonic palette as ‘war metal’ are unfortunately the only band who don’t live up to the billing. While they have the right amount of dirge and dreariness, it all comes across very muddy and the knob head attitude of their singer rubs off on a crowd which slowly whittles down in size throughout the set. More ear scraping feedback than impressive moments - especially between the songs where the talking is undistinguishable as a result – make it a set worth forgetting, but what it does do is set the stage for tonight’s headliners.
Foetal Juice, on their home turf, simply destroy the place. A brutal death metal band who’s lyrical inspiration is derived from the darker, more perverted side of life – you know, serial killers, necrophilia n’ all that – it’s uncanny how such demented subject topics could, as their sound comes blaring out of the PA into a room amass with flailing bodies, spilling pints and dirty denim, could be so much fun. By this point everyone is duly trollied, good time vibes reverberating from the walls. The Bury band are just as inebriated, if not more so, as everyone else and their set goes by in a blur of blast beats, voracious vocals and laughter. A fucking great band to end another brilliant Napalm show.
Words: Phil Weller | Photos: Frederick Apps Facebook Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/646691428786377