Marisa And The Moths: The Globe, Cardiff (03/05/24)

Marisa And The Moths: The Globe, Cardiff (03/05/24)

12th May 2024 0 By Gavin Griffiths

Cardiff is full of colorful and exciting venues of various sizes. Just recently I was at Clwb Ifor Bach, which has housed many decent rising artists over the years, ranging from last week’s THE CRUEL KNIVES show, (Check out that live review here) to IST IST and KVELERTAK. Fuel over the Road is an award-winning rock bar that loves the underground heaviness of the UK’s alternative metal scene. The CIA (Look I don’t care if it’s currently called the Utilita Arena because of sponsorship, or advertising contracts, it’s a shit name, worse than Motorpoint, and it’ll ALWAYS be the CIA), tends to house the bigger touring arena bands and pop stars, or, if we want to go big, we have the Millenium Stadium. I will never not laugh when people thought that the stadium was on fire, but it was just RAMMSTEIN playing!  

Often overlooked mind you, is The Globe. An intimate little venue on the city outskirts, that’s hosted a plethora of established artists and created several memories for this reviewer. Whether it’s listening to tales of Brandon Novak using his arse as a glove compartment to store drugs or watching Alex Flamsteed questionably blending loose change with even looser skin. (I’ll let you work that one out). Watching a drunk dude get kicked out for trying to touch up WEDNESDAY 13’s leg on stage, or even awkward, uncomfortable interviews with the likes of Finland’s LOST SOCIETY, who seemed both shy and inexperienced, and more concerned with their tour manager getting them vodka from the local corner shop, because they were the most underage of thrash bands, bless their cotton socks.  

Tonight, however, it’s album launch night for MARISA AND THE MOTHS, who just today released their sophomore album “What Doesn’t Kill You”. All About The Rock was invited back down to the Welsh capital to check out some more live music…here’s what happened. 

This evening’s opening act is a group by the name of HCK9 [7] who do really well to entertain the early Friday crowd. The London outfit, fronted by vocalist James Brown (Completed by bassist Marta, guitarist Joe and drummer Dan), begins their set with their latest single “At The End Of The World”, which has subtle LINKIN PARK-type tropes, post-” Meteora”. ORGY springs to mind too. It’s got light electronic elements played as a backing track, while the four-piece rip through an emotive piece of melodic rock. The riffs are hard, they GO, but it’s not heavy per se, allowing James’ vocals to really shine. It’s a great opener and could easily find them on the FiXT roster. 

Photography By Rob Campion @rcphotouk

Older tracks like “Breathe” highlight the bands’ penchant for blending progressive indie rock ‘n’ roll, with light industrial influences, and It’s like HARD-FI got the remix treatment. “Planet Killer” then hammers home that early 2000’s nu-metal, rap-inspired aesthetic. It reminds of say, ADEMA in ways, and the live version here is a little more up-tempo than the recording, and to be fair it works better, with its deeper sense of urgency and intensity. New tracks like “Monster” and the politically charged “Our Souls” garner great receptions, as we await their new EP, and the band has carried themselves well here. Definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Our main support for tonight, is a Bristol-based outfit by the name of KITE THIEF [7] who continue the flow of energy tonight brilliantly. With the majority of their set comprising of their most recent EP Ambiviolent which is a wonderful play on words may I say, they kick things off with “Judge Judy & Executioner”, delivering a real up-tempo slab of angsty hard rock with the sweetest of melodic choruses; while utilizing a superb breakdown during the climax of the track and this is hard-hitting stuff.

Tracks like “The Tide, and comes in HARD like a tsunami of riffs and electronica. Vocalist Elin can hold a harmonious note for sure, but she is VISCERAL when she wants to be, and that fine balance adds so much character to this plucky and frankly feisty outfit. The Djent metal qualities of the guitar play here provide not only a barrage of healthy noise and intensity but a gratuitous groove and you can’t but not move to this lot.

The EP title track houses a lot of the same traits musically, fleeting between heavy and harmonic with electronic elements sprinkled throughout, culminating in this delicate, pop-inspired fade-out. “Allegedly” is a powerful track that speaks of inappropriate behavior, unwanted advances, and the crossing of boundaries. Aimed at those male cretins who cross the line but deny it, it’s an anthem naming and shaming those who fall for and believe in the wrong side of justice when it comes to consent; calling you out on your shitty behavior. It’s female solidarity and empowerment encapsulated in one hard-hitting track and it’s wonderful.

Photography By Rob Campion @rcphotouk

The set highlight however was “Hindsight” with Elin leading the charge in a spot of crowd interaction for the chorus sing-along, and in hindsight, I should have been aware of these guys sooner. A perfect blend of catchy hooks and crunching guitars…what more can you ask for? This Friday night crowd is certainly warmed up. 

 

Finally, then, it’s time for tonight’s main event, and MARISA AND THE MOTHS [10] equally astound and entertain. They hit the stage with the new album’s opening track “Cursed”…or, do they? The Globe happens to have a stairway leading to a balcony area, and it is taken FULL advantage of tonight on this instance. Vocalist Marisa Rodriguez descends the stairway in a black cape, black lipstick, corset, and choker, powerfully projecting the string-led ballad like the most mesmerizing of Hammer Horror vampire Queens, and it’s a stunningly beautiful solo performance. The gothic splendor is practically hypnotic as an awe-struck silence falls upon the crowd and THIS is how you make an entrance. 

With a new album released literally today, a lot of the set tonight comprises tracks off of the said album, promoting the new material. “Get It Off My Chest” bridges this gap of grungy guitar tones with an almost Middle Eastern-inspired sense of vocal vibrato in delivery and here we HAVE to point out, boy can Marisa sing. Her effortless control of her projection, volume, and the cleanliness of her notes, she has an INCREDIBLE voice and the venue does a perfect job of capturing that tonight, it’s absolutely faultless.  

Photography By Rob Campion @rcphotouk

“Gaslight” houses this solid dose of crunching guitar sprinkled with the innocence of the lullabies of a cradle’s mobile in parts, counteracted with some impressively scorched vocal roars, and it’s got an almost ALTER BRIDGE vibe to it overall. In the jovial mood the band is, they ask if everyone is having a good time tonight before they sarcastically bring the mood down with the recent single “SAD”. It’s an indie-rock ballad with a bold chorus with wonderful juxtaposition, sounding quite upbeat in tone. 

 

Guitarist Liam stuns the crowd during a mid-set interlude, conducting a solo performance of “Porch” which he penned during the lockdown, and the gritty, blues rock style of his playing and vocal prowess are mesmerizing. It’s so off-kilter in comparison to the band’s sound and set as a whole, it’s an immediate highlight, confirming the level of talent within the band creatively and instrumentally. 

Older tracks like “Choke” from their debut garner brilliantly harmonic sing-alongs from tonight’s crowd during an impassioned chorus, while “Skin” is a damn fine slab of classic-tinged hard rock that’s full of swagger and attitude. There are a couple of moments on stage where there are tech issues, as Marisa’s guitar doesn’t want to play ball at times, resulting in Marisa swearing at her equipment light-heartedly, as their tour manager/tech guy runs back and forth saving the day. This however only adds to tonight’s atmosphere, and while they may be mild annoyances for the band for sure, they play it down well, very professionally with some banter, and keep the crowd entertained throughout. 

Overall, the energy tonight from start to finish was fantastic. Both support bands brought something vibrant to the table and went down a treat, but Marisa and her Moths, truly delivered. The fact that they were excited that it was album launch day only added to their positivity on stage and it clearly showed. They are proud of what they are doing and rightly so. They are tight, they are SO clean, and Marisa has a genuinely beautiful voice, even with the tech issues, you cannot fault tonight’s set. Moths by name, granted, but butterflies in the delicate beauty of their craft. I highly recommend you catch these live. 

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