Live Reviews

The Living Things

The Dublin Castle

At first glance, Living Things are your run of the mill American rockers. Dressed uniformly in black, slick fitted trousers and shirts, eyes sullen and air of seriousness shrouding the stage, you expect some hardcore rock to come pounding off the stage – but then front man Lillian Berlin bounds onto the stage…wearing skin tight turquoise trousers, a matching chest re! vealing waistcoat and a pair of cowboy boots ; it’s like the love child of Mick Jagger and Justin Hawkins …only there’s not a hint of humour or Darkness style high kicks – this is deadly serious.

The Living Things are led by three brothers, Berlin, Lillian and Eve Bosh (drums, vocals/guitar, bass respectively) with friend Corey Becker ( guitar) and once you can get past Lillian’s Axl Rose-esque snaking hips shimmying across the stage, it’s a performance that sets you back and draws you in. Loud, brash and in your face, Living Things have that contented swagger of a band who know they’ve got something special. Thumping beats and ripping guitars mingle with Lillian’s intelligent lyrics and carefully constructed hooks.

Jumping on and off stage he leans out to the crowd, spinning out lyrics about the war and political righteousness with a curl of the lip- all wrapped up in radio friendly licks and easy catchy lines. The anti war Bombs Below strikes a chord as does the poignant God Made Hate but it’s upcoming single Bom Bom Bom which stays with you, it’s unmitigated pop, an easy on the ears track with a bouncing chorus which steals the show. It’s hard to know what the band are trying for – the pop sound doesn’t quite sit with the band’s punk rock styling, but the heavier glimpses we get are worth the wait.

With a Steve Albini (Nirvana/Jawbreaker/Your Codename is Milo) produced album set for release in UK shortly, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception the band enjoy here.. They have a point to prove and the show tonight goes along way towards that, although with such serious scowls on the brother’s faces, it’s hard to believe the stories that their stage show once included bandying around straps on. With Lillian they have a flamboyant, engaging frontman, and the set is a commanding ferocious performance from a band who are clearly here to make a mark…it only those turquoise trousers weren’t quite so tight…

Dee Massey

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