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AU Magazine Review ASIWYFA's 'Tonight The City Burns' Project

'They play with the kind of energy which makes them look like they may lift off stage and career through the air at any moment'

Tonight The City Burns

ASIWYFA arrive amid peals of expectant applause and gear up with a few minutes of breezy melody before hurtling into a jagged number from their specially-concocted EP with the kind of energy that makes them look as thoy they may lift off stage  and career through the air at any moment.  From the outset it is clear that this is a change of pace for the band whose closest musical kin are Explosions In The Sky or Mogwai.

Their sound is choppier, harder-edged and more rhythmically erratic than before, with tracks like "THESEriotsAREjustTHEbeginning" and title tune "Tonight The City Burns" recalling At The Drive In, and sounding every bit as incendiary as theitr names suggest.  Rarely do bands maintain such good coordination and crisp timing while stamping and shaking their instruments with such merciless vim.  But among the biting riffs are moments of modulated calm giving way to softer, dreamier numbers.

ASIWYFA have built their reputation on consummate instrumental musicialship; mountainous melodies, textured noise, and beautifully twining guitars.  Although it is a commendable experiment to open up their music to input from other local groups, they really do sound most at home when being themselves, on hypnotic tracks like Mt Kailash and the dementedly enjoyabe barnstormer "The Voiceless". 

Despite obvious stress and technical problems, ASIWYFA wring ever drop of energy from the performance and plainly have fun doing so.  At one point, guitarist Tony stops headbanging to plant a kiss in the forehead of LaFaro vocalist Jonny Black.  Awww.

ASIWYFAs stated objective has been to get some of NI's best loved bands together on one stage, to "make sure everyone leaves knowing there is a scene here to be proud of".  As the 300-strong crowd were mushed out into the chilly night, ASIWYFA could say with cool assurance: "mission fucking accomplished".

- Adam Kula, AU