VENUE 229, lon­don DATE 12/04/2018

Prog - - Take A Bow - HOLLY WRIGHT

Hot on the heels of the rus­sian Cir­cles ex­plo­sion and jostling along­side the pro­gres­sive in­stru­men­tal for­ays of bands like Scale The Sum­mit and In­ter­vals, post‑rock in­stru­men­tal out­fit Coldbones’ re­lease of Where It

All Be­gan comes at a good time.

Un­for­tu­nately, it’s not good enough to fill the venue, and with the room less than half full, we can’t help but feel a lit­tle sorry for the Kent trio, who have spent the last week trav­el­ling the UK for their al­bum launch tour. Still, it’s early days, and if the strapline on their so­cial posts read­ing “This is only the be­gin­ning” is an in­di­ca­tion of their op­ti­mism, a thin crowd won’t dis­suade them.

At a suc­cinct 32 min­utes long, Where It All Be­gan is a lit­tle short to war­rant a full‑blown head­liner show, and so Coldbones don’t ap­pear on 229’s stage un­til 10.15pm. Fun­nily enough, the 45‑minute set works in their favour, high­light­ing their tightly packed but no less af­fect­ing waves of sound, which avoid the of­ten self‑in­dul­gent char­ac­ter­is­tics of post‑rock. The venue has a stu­dent night­club vibe, but its acous­tic set‑up lends it­self per­fectly to an at­mo­spheric bat­ter­ing, and with an ex­tra two mu­si­cians in tow, the band en­joy ex­cep­tional sound qual­ity.

They be­gin with a few songs from the new al­bum, peak­ing with the ti­tle track. It builds from a gen­tle twinkle, with Max’s per­cus­sion pro­vid­ing the pivot, to a smash of re­ver­ber­a­tion, high‑pitched tonal shards cas­cad­ing from Jor­dan’s gui­tar.

Hav­ing a tour­ing key­board player and sec­ond gui­tarist tur­bocharges the sound, and sud­denly it feels like we’re in a much big­ger venue, or on some bar­ren windswept hin­ter­land. Sim­i­larly, New Heights uses the quiet‑loud mo­tif to great ef­fect, echo­ing the emo­tional peaks and troughs of Deftones.

While still bleakly dark on stage, save for some string lights, the ki­netic en­ergy un­leashed by the mu­si­cians as they reach the crescen­dos brings the per­for­mance to life.

With­out a vo­cal­ist, Coldbones rely heav­ily on the in­stru­men­tal nar­ra­tive, and while this works on their new ma­te­rial, a turn to ear­lier work from the Dis­tance eP shows a few cracks in their method. Work­ing to a slightly staid tem­plate of rep­e­ti­tion, the less de­vel­oped approach on songs like

The Hands Be­tween Us be­comes a lit­tle mun­dane.

How­ever, they return to the present and show real in­ven­tion on an up­lift­ing out­ing of the jan­gly, 90s‑in­spired De­cay, and with the dy­namic slices of metal­lic gui­tar on Mo­ments. In one fi­nal wal­lop of strobe‑drenched tremolo, they leave their mark.

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