Live: Tripwires, The Lexington, 17/2/11

Nearly a year has past since we first got wind of Reading’s great hopes Tripwires. Admittedly, at the time, London was awash with numerous lo-fi acts (NME had yet to install the now-commonly used term chillwave), and having been sent on many-a-pointless mission to catch the forerunners of this latest emergent musical trend, perhaps we did not give a lot of the later acts to surface the attention they were due. But can we be blamed for this? Not naming names, but 9 times out of 10 that we made it down to one of these recession-fulled shows, we were quite frankly bored to the point of leaving pretty early in the respective sets. To us, chillwave means this; excellent music to listen to, but fucking tedious to watch.

So how do these boys measure up? Well they sure ain’t boring to watch, or to listen to. Tripwires come out with a bang and look very much as if they’re about to blow out The Lexington’s PA with their heavily distorted guitars and vocals and thunderous, persistant drum riffs, and instantly we are drawn in hook, line, and sinker. Song-wise they could sit firmly in the same ballpark as 90’s guitar heroes Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth. At one point we feel as if we’ve been transported back in time when Symposium were alive and kicking, and one song mid-set has us enthralled in much the same way a lot of people would have been if they were hearing Radiohead’s No Suprises for the first time live. Just a mere 7 days prior to this show, we were openly whining about how we wished we were born about 10 years earlier, so as to live in and be conscious of an era of music that actually means something to us. By the time penultimate set-closer Cinnamon is performed, we are ready to take that all back.

Words: Achal Dhillon

Picture: Harriet Pulford

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