The Hysterical Injury - Carousel @ Power Lunches, London, 26th March 2015 1

The Hysterical Injury – Carousel @ Power Lunches, London, 26th March 2015

Hysterical Injury live pic 1








Out it comes. Yes, this band is brave enough to begin their ownership of our ears with the bombastic yet nuanced ‘Under Milk Wood,‘ a fresh tune from the new Blood Burst E.P. When we get to the quiet bit, Annie Gardiner singing lightly and effortlessly, we’re spellbound. At least I am. I don’t have my music-scribe hat on at all. I’m an audience member shaking my head with a silly expression on my face. I’m not at liberty to do my job/passion. Someone else note audience reactions for a write-up? Somebody else find a worthy sentence to describe the well-handled contrast of lyrics detailing small town boredom, the frustration and anger boiling through the bass as the racket builds to its frenetic garage rock crescendo.

Tom Gardiner is in a great mood. This drummer is prepared to swerve the gig down any road his manic personality dictates, and one would be foolish not to follow him. Yes, he starts a sing along to Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel.‘ Hurrah, he stamps out the drum parts for Queen‘s ‘We Will Rock You‘. Poor Annie, I don’t think she’s quite prepared for this homage to Freddy Mercury.

You wouldn’t know how much stress she’s under to get the set right. A visit to the hospital with a daughter in need of stitches and the long journey down from Bristol to kick off the first leg of their mini tour – fuck! This adds a certain pressure so Annie Gardiner can be forgiven for making the odd fluff during ‘Cycle One‘. Although the slight mistakes reveal them to be humans after all, ‘Cycle One‘ is still a treat regardless; the rumbling drums; the fuzz-bass, and Annie’s playground chant streaming through a delay effect which enhances what’s already heavenly. Unique. No other band like it, I tell you – they are truly one in a million.

‘Bitches Balls’ is all but a life pass onto any festival bill they’d care to feature on. All I need is a bit more space to dance as this composition’s rolling samba beat just won’t allow my head to do all the rhythmic mirroring. Annie apologises for the singing, but I have to disagree, there’s no way her voice is ‘out of tune.’ I’ll swear it for as you know, I’ll always write the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Hendrix.

The amazing thing about The Hysterical Injury is their matchless sound being replicated so faithfully live. Whereas this show isn’t Annie’s finest performance, brother Tom makes good on his promise to ‘Channel Superman!’ The amount of work he puts into his drumming is far and beyond what’s required for a lo-fi guitar band, and yet, he can’t be classed as someone who overplays. As I predicted (and Annie confirms this for me afterwards) ‘Woken With a Warning’ is the track most impressive live. You might find yourself tapping your knee caps in the rhythm of the verse a day or so after. That’s a testament to good drumming. Hard to forget the allure of the siren-like vocal, seducing many a spectator into abandonment, as per usual.

The trance-like ‘Snow’ captures the frenetic energy of the studio version, adding M.P.P (musical prodigy points) to Annie’s score. Move over Matt Bellamy. The monopoly for virtuoso finger-tapping whilst falsetto singing has most definitely shifted. Till the mainstream media discovers them, The Hysterical Injury will be our glorious secret, expertly segueing from ‘Snow‘ into ‘We Machines‘, bringing a tough but rewarding gig to a close.




Photo credit:  Alison Grey

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