Found under a pool table some time in the nineteen eighties, no one knows where this confused genius really comes from- some say space, some say a suburb in Salford...all they really know is that thei...[more]
The Brudenell Social Club, Wednesday 26 September 2012
Support tonight comes from ex-Vibracathedral Orchestra man Mick Flower. Flower is a singularly talented guitarist and one of Leeds' most influential musicians. Tonight, Flower plays guitar to a rhythmic backing-track which makes the overall sound akin to hearing an avant-garde Talking Heads; toe-tapping but deliciously psychedelic all the same. It's hard to describe how something so experimental could feel so communal, so inclusive and fun but Goddamnit, this music is infectious.
Opening with the superbly atmospheric 'Sinai', Om's talents are immediately clear as Al Cisneros and Emil Amos settle into one of those uniquely hypnotic and devastatingly heavy grooves, the kind of groove that could go on for hours and you wouldn't mind or even notice the passing of time. We're very much on Om's time tonight and for the duration of the set I'm completely enveloped in their world. Cisneros and Amos are joined on stage by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe; a ridiculously talented musician who played on both Advaitic Songs and God is Good.
The band's mixture of heavy rhythms and eastern influences is even more startling in the live environment; there's really no-one else that sounds like Om right now. The set draws on highlights from their last three albums and while the band's development since Amos replaced Chris Hakius in 2008 has divided some fans, it's clear this is the same Om we've always loved.
Al Cisneros' driving bass remains the bands focal point, but backed with eastern drones and extra instrumentation from Lowe, it's become even more intoxicating. Emil Amos has to be one of the most impressive rock drummers operating today; practically taking off when they play the mighty 'State of Non-Return'. It's during this song that I notice the crowd at the Brudenell nodding in time to the bands cosmic assault; one of those moments when you know a band has connected with everyone in the room.
Om are one hell of a live experience; powerful, strangely beautiful and utterly committed to their musical vision. Om aren't just playing songs because they can; they're on a journey, exploring themselves as they explore the endlessly expanding boundaries of their sound. They want you to join them.