It’s not been a good couple of years for Essex/London-based Redjetson. Dropped by their label Drowned in Sound after releasing their 2005 debut album, in the midst of recording their follow-up this past year, one of their six members left. “It’s been about 12 months since we played a show,” singer Clive Kentish states.
His announcement that they will play only new songs tonight gets a “boo” from one disappointed fan. It’s clear Redjetson want to make a fresh start.
The post-rock genre is not short of cult status bands and their devout followings: Mogwai, Slint and Explosions in the Sky to name a few; and the rising iLikeTrains who Redjetson are this month supporting on tour. What Redjetson add to the well-hashed formula is vocals. But tonight the normal intensity of Kentish’s melancholic baritone which have led the band to comparisons with Joy Division, is lost, drowned by searing guitars and diluted by an uncertainty not helped by the difficulty of getting sound levels right.
But there is much captivating inventive instrumentation to their epic soundscapes. “Questions I Don’t Want to Ask” has intriguing interplay between the effects-laden guitars while “Beta Blocker” is instantly entrancing; its pretty tinkling glockenspiel blended with melodic guitars and mournful vocals against drummer Joel Hussey’s pulsing military beats.
Their final song “These Structures” bridges the 12-month gap, revealing the band’s full potential for power and energy. As guitarist Dan Carney strums, the rippling effect of his and Ian Jarrold’s guitars add to its dark atmosphere. Bassist Grant Taylor moves onto keyboard then back to bass, throwing himself into it. With that first difficult show behind them, it looks like there are storming things to come from Redjetson.