Prog - - Limelight - GAVIN HOB­SON

“We are Divi­sion­ists, and we play rock mu­sic,” is vo­cal­ist Bren­dan Quinn’s in­tro­duc­tion to tonight, but he might be un­der­selling their scope. over the course of three al­bums, his pre­vi­ous band, Bos­ton-based Abunai!, cov­ered psychedelia, folk rock, space rock and, on one al­bum, too many gen­res to even list. Divi­sion­ists have been posited as a re­turn to a more straight­for­ward sound, but there’s still so much hap­pen­ing here.

opener Suc­cess in­stantly brings to mind The Bea­tles, but Wil­liam McGre­gor’s drum­ming and back­ing vo­cals push it into The Who’s early ter­ri­tory, be­ing three min­utes of force­ful pop. Lilt­ing gui­tar work from Mark Ben­nett in­tro­duces Frac­tion of Grace, a sub­tly psy­che­delic num­ber re­sem­bling an up­tempo Galaxie

500. That then flows into Dream Land­scape, where the band’s folk in­flu­ences be­gin to show, cou­pled to­gether with a solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Mar­il­lion’s early al­bums.

Just as it seems we’ve set­tled into a mel­low groove, Quinn ded­i­cates a song to the world lead­ers who have taken away his peace of mind, and grind­ing dis­tor­tion sig­nals the start of The First Ca­su­alty. Cou­pled with

Mike Whitaker’s bassline, this con­jures images of neil Young stomp­ing around the stage.

Tem­po­rar­ily spent, the band then drift into Colours, the long­est, most at­mo­spheric song of the evening. Moon­light Devil sees their folk side once again com­ing to the fore, a cau­tion­ary bal­lad on the de­monic per­ils of love that’ll have fans look­ing for ‘trad. arr.’ on the al­bum cover (the song is all theirs).

A straight-ahead rocker, All Fall Down pounds along re­lent­lessly, the bass oc­ca­sion­ally twist­ing away from the main thrust of the song. Up next is

Say Can You, which is the al­bum’s lead sin­gle, and has seen com­par­isons to the melodic, al­ter­na­tive rock of Teenage Fan­club and the Le­mon­heads, but with its melan­choly tone and wah-wah solo­ing, it ar­guably more closely re­sem­bles The Be­vis Frond, whom Quinn has shared stages with in the past.

For the closer we fi­nally get that trad. arr. num­ber threat­ened ear­lier, Bar­bara Allen, which was re­put­edly Sa­muel Pepys’ and Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton’s favourite song, al­though the front­man con­fesses, “i first heard it from that noted un­der­ground fig­ure Porky Pig.” it’s an acid folk raga that sees the venue flooded with psychedelia from both the band and the vi­su­als, which are pro­vided by one-time band­mate

Joe Turner.

Divi­sion­ists man­age to take a whole heap of in­flu­ences and roll them into a co­her­ent whole. not bad for a band that just play rock mu­sic.

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