Grave Pleasures

Wasteland rabble-rousers mutate and revive

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It’s surprising that the band formerly known as Beastmilk are playing in such a small venue tonight, but even a major signing can’t drag them up from the underground.

New album Dreamcrash is a much rawer and less instant beast then the macabre yet jaunty Climax that captivated all corners of the alternative music scene, and this dark basement is the perfect platform for their post-punk party soundtrack to the apocalypse. Dressed in uniform black, the new incarnation of Grave Pleasures look like more of a gang than ever, but it’s impossible to take your eyes off frontman Kvohst. His dancing complements the music: part jittery theatrics, part wild abandon, looking as though he’s gazing towards a terrifying future. Grave Pleasures focus on new material tonight, from the swaggering punk of Taste The Void to the entrancing, bluesy eerieness of Crooked Vein. Kvohst deadpans that there will be no Beastmilk songs tonight – before launching into Climax favourite You Are Now Under Our Control to a joyful response.

Kvohst wracks up another victory

Kvohst wracks up another victory

It’s obvious many here aren’t familiar enough with Dreamcrash to get them grooving to the songs, and their attitude carries to the stage; Grave Pleasures really come alive when playing old favourites such as Genocidal Crush.

But no doubt the next time they grace a UK stage, the new songs will have sunk in. As long as the apocalypse doesn’t get us all first…

Hannah May Kilroy

Hannah May Kilroy has been writing about music professionally for over a decade, covering everything from extreme metal to country. She was deputy editor at Prog magazine for over five years, and previously worked on the editorial teams at Terrorizer and Kerrang!. She currently works as the production editor for The Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Guardian, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.