Everything Everything, Scala, London

  • @Tom_Mendelsohn

Everything Everything, for those outside the know, are one of the biggest bands of the now. Tipped to the gunnels and lavished with pre-emptory praise, their many press clippings have them talking up a good fight, making all the right noises about reclaiming Manchester music from the troglodytes. Their bluster, however commendably well-intentioned, is, I regret to say, just that.

It's a noodle soup of conflicting riffs from the very first minute: an impenetrable mélange of four defiant musicians playing four separate songs that just happen to be at vaguely the same tempo. Perhaps they're trying to sound layered and complex, but the result is an uppity, atonal mulch.

The buzz they've managed to cook up – like a belljar of bees – is a flat-out mystery; they're coming off as the luckiest group of late-Noughties new ravers who missed the boat first time round, only to find themselves with an unexpectedly clear run at the top.

Much of their trouble rests in lackadaisical song structure. There's no pattern to any of it – what they undoubtedly cherish as future-forward musical alchemy filters back as a busy old mess, like they can't settle on a single theme for a song, so they pack them in like extras in a hatchback advert.

To be begrudgingly fair, there are a handful of songs that phase in and out of quality. "Qwerty Finger" is notably worthwhile, benefiting immeasurably from a bit of focus in its execution. Similarly, "MY KZ, UR BF" isn't horrible, but it hardly represents the earthly incarnation of tidiness.

They're clearly nice chaps on the up, enjoying their moment in the zeitgeist – the trouble is they just don't seem to be able to write a chorus to save their lives.

That's fine for Autechre or whoever, but if you're a two-guitar four-piece with pretentions of going somewhere, it isn't enough to squirt out random noise and call it a song.