Pure Reason Revolution - Nottingham, Bodega Social (13/03/2009)

Anthony Cody | Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Pure Reason Revolution - Nottingham, Bodega Social (13/03/2009)

You arrive at the Bodega Social at 9 o'clock. By 10, you have a new favourite UK progressive rock band, and that band is Pure Reason Revolution.

Before the gig, you had shamefully never heard any of their music, but this oversight has been rapidly seen to. Rarely does a band grip you throughout its entire set, but tonight PRR left large sections of the crowd staring at each other in disbelief at what they were seeing. Midway through the gig, you shout to your friend, 'Man, I actually feel sorry for people who aren't at this gig!'.

As PRR are a fairly unknown band (a fact that you are sure will be remedied in the near future), here is a brief background. They formed in 2003, released their first album, The Dark Third, in 2006 and released the follow-up, Amor Vincit Omnia, last week. Jon Courtney and Chloe Alper provide the lead vocals, with Jamie Willcox and Paul Glover completing the band's line-up. Jon Courtney's voice is quite similar to Brian Molko's (Placebo), a high-pitched style that can be a little irritating, but it works brilliantly with the space-rock feel of PRR.

Now to the music. 'The Twyncyn/Trembling Willows' monstrously rumbles along with the force and complexity of The Mars Volta, but with the subtlety of Interpol. The final three minutes of this track contains more ideas than most bands create in a whole album. Alper's voice complements Courtney's brilliantly, leading to a crescendo of noise so exciting your mind nearly explodes with prog-rock delight. These guys have some serious riffs.

A complete change of pace comes with the track 'Deus ex Machina'. It begins with allusions to modern bands such as Justice and Daft Punk, in so much as it is heavy on electro riffs and foot-stomping tempos. But then, just when you think you have the track figured out, a Muse-style riff hits you and you love it.

'AVO' is a delicately crafted piece of electronic music - a sort of updated 80s club classic. This track is waiting to be sampled by some top DJs. A definite highlight of the set.

Somehow, PRR's music works both as a dance-floor filler and also as a thoughtful progressive band. You think to yourself, 'Could they be the next Radiohead?' as you try to name all the genres of music this band seem to have crossed tonight: prog, rock, grunge, metal, and electro.

The reason behind the enthusiasm which you feel for this band is, you think, due to the fact that prog-rock is difficult to get right. Many try, but most fail. PRR have succeeded in creating a sound so interesting that you leave the Bodega angry that this band are not widely-known. Their music sounds great on record; live, they are truly monumental. You decide to tell everyone to see them before they start selling out the soulless mega-venues.

Rating: 4.5/5