Published for The Colour of Vinyl
Currently on their 2017 UK tour, Exeter trio Muncie Girls makes a visit to Cheltenham’s alternative club venue 2Pigs: their first visit to the town – excluding their appearance at 2000 trees in 2016.
The night kicks off with ORTO, who brings forth a giant mix of chaotic passion and anger that really hits you right in the stomach. The quartet have yet to play as a full unit in 2Pigs prior to this night, so aim to make a firm impression on the Cheltonians present. And that, they did; as they leave a deafening impact on the ears of everyone in the tiny room.
Described as a band that is ‘sometimes loud, and sometimes not as loud’ they stick to this persona as they shout their way through their half an hour set. The bass vibrates through the room as they work through tracks from their latest record ‘Kinda Dismal’, incorporating the heaviest of post-hardcore with aggressive spoken word sections.
Next up is well-known local Cheltenham four-piece Floorboards. They take to the stage with an experienced aura of presence, as they kick off with ‘Feel’ taken from EP ‘October’. They confess their lack of solidified set list, yet they immediately take this in their stride and jump from song to song without any hesitation. The band release plenty of vigour and energy, with some impressive duel guitar segments throughout.
It is a set that showcases excellent capabilities of working as a well-grounded unit and despite some fluctuating microphone difficulties, the quartet still give it their absolute best. Vocalist Jay Mansfield embraces the issues and shouts without the instrument with plenty of passion and intensity that still manages to fill the room despite the help of the microphone.
Southampton based Gun Shy follow up, retaining the same high energy levels. They incorporate a varied mix of tempos and an abundance of guitar pedal effects, establishing a strong demeanour on the stage. The duel guitars and back and forth vocals add further depth to their sound.
In celebration of the latest upcoming record ‘The Long Dance’ there is plenty of new tracks shared across their set, including songs like recently released single ‘Test You Like Gold’. The songs embrace thunderous break downs that allow the members to explode; particularly ex-Milk Teeth vocalist/guitarist Josh Bannister, who doesn’t shy away from leaping around the stage with plenty of zeal.
The room is packed by the time stars of the night Muncie Girls take the spotlight. Starting off with energy-filled ‘Gas Mark 4’, and soon propels further into indie infused punk rock tunes to really get the crowd excited. The upbeat tempos and duel vocals and harmonies accompany the instrumental breaks, enforcing various songs tacking issues such as the government, social climates and the state of the country.
Further down the line, vocalist Lande Hekt swaps out her uniform bass for a second guitar for the tranquil track ‘Social State’. The song is driven through steady drum rhythms that shine through the room. They bring the night to a close with their latest single ‘Respect’, taken from EP ‘From Caplan to Belsize’. Despite some minuscule issues with the microphone and a little hiccup with the lyrics, the group maintain a pleasing performance that is enjoyable and catchy from start to finish.
It was great to see such a varied line up work collaboratively during the night, with each band evidently having an active interest in their fellow musical comrades. The intimate venue sees Muncie Girls in their element, it will be good to see how they differ when they make their reappearance to 2000 Trees later this year in July.