This Will Destroy You in concert last week by Tom Fraine
What band would you choose to play at the end of the world? You could do worse thanchoose Texas instrumental alt-rock band This Will Destroy You.
There is something epic in the thoughtful and stately progression of their bare, melodic music. They have branded it ‘doomgaze’, which has just about the right associations of hypnotic soundscapes and haunting reverbs.
And if the music belongs at the end of the world, everybody in the Lido was pitching in with a fair impression of the undead. The band swayed gently on stage, looking down at their instruments. The audience stood stock still, with the odd nodding head the only movement.
The lack of a singer added to the intensity of the atmosphere and lent the performance a hushed, reverent feel. But the periodic distortion-heavy crescendos, obviously intended to provide the focal point in a front-man’s absence, mostly missed their mark. And that’s what was missing at this gig: something to grab the audience’s attention and supplement the music’s power. Otherwise, This Will Destroy You risk becoming background music to everybody’s dinner party.
Because that’s the thing about the end of the world: everybody’s looking at something else.
Review by Tom Fraine