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Live review: Husky Loops @ EBGBS, Liverpool, 24/10/18


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London-Italian art rock three-piece, Husky Loops, refuse to be pigeonholed; from their sound, to their look. This is a band less concerned with the reception of their music and more with experimentation in their art. Garnering support slots with bands such as Placebo and Spoon, they make a much-anticipated return to Liverpool’s den of debauchery EBGBS on their second UK headline tour. 

Support act Rivia fill the majority of the crowd with their mates to commemorate their very first gig, and though they give their best to emulate a 30-Seconds To Mars esque sound, they don’t quite have the dynamics and material as an outfit to take on stadium rock just yet. As the main act stride onto the stage, you can’t help but feel disillusioned to see that such a talented, and forward-thinking outfit draw in such a meagre crowd. The fact that many people don’t even give up and coming bands a chance is why artists struggle so much in the current industry climate.

Nevertheless, the creeping bass of 'Fighting Myself' kicks their set off, as drums clash against brittle guitar lines. It discusses the hindrance of general anxiety as frontman Danio Forni spits out lines "too tough to shop at Tesco's today". It’s obvious to see the profound influence culture has on the band, from the cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, to the sample of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ before their pissed off pop song ‘20 Blanks’.

Projected visuals of anatomy to the deranged and clips from various cult movies pulsate against the wall. It's interesting to see how they incorporate such a spectrum of influence into the set and still keep it tight and coherent. '20 Blanks' is a particularly poignant point in the set, as it proves its own point, looking at the staticness of the crowd, while Forni croons “wasting your life in disguise”. Despite Forni's call out for the crowd to move to the front, and let themselves loose, their feet remain rooted. But this may be due to the venue's less than satisfactory acoustics, where everything transmitted through the sound system is lost in translation.

‘Daft’ is where the band show off their talent best, with the clear hip-hop influenced backbeat set against an ominously funky bassline. Here, the band also start playing with the pitch changer on the microphone. You really are the subject of their own live experiment, as they play with you both sonically and visually. As a band they’re absolutely tight - drummer Pietro Garrone moves with agility, Forni pulls out some delirious tricks on the guitar, while Tomasso Medica holds the band together with the bass. For a new, up and coming band, they have an immense amount of talent contained within their unit and they only have space to grow. 

Tracks like ‘Dead’ show a heavier side, as they experiment with industrial-rock and themes of mortality and insanity. A highlight of the night occurs when the band rip into ‘Tempo’; a raucous interplay of jarring guitars and drum machines, with soft but eerie vocals, eventually culminating into pure chaos. It feels like the naughty love child of Nine Inch Nails and Queens Of The Stone Age. However, to pigeonhole Husky Loops would be like reducing David Bowie down to the Thin White Duke; they toy with so much diversity and play with a compelling range of concepts. 

The band complete their set with 'Everytime I Run', a track that was deservedly featured on the FIFA 19 soundtrack. Accompanied by visuals from cult movies such as The Breakfast Club and Forrest Gump, it flits between sonic snippets and an anthemic chorus, building a sense of comradery between the group of boys at the front who fling their arms around each other, beer in hand, singing the words straight back. Incorporating hip-hop samples into what could be naively seen as an indie-rock piece could be confusing, but it adds depth to the song in the form of a grooving hedonism. Husky Loops are a band for the modern age - a modern age that needs to wake up and nurture innovative talent. 

Husky Loops continue to prove why they are one of the most interesting new bands in the industry right now, by providing an endlessly puzzling yet intriguing live show. Though they could have relied heavily on gimmicks, it is the sheer talent and sonic bravery of the outfit that carries them to glory. Husky Loops; music is meant for venues of a larger capacity, now they just need the fan base to get there.

Images courtesy of Lucy McLachlan

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