This second day of the Emergenza preselection had more or less the same quality as the day before, but fortunately this time only the good bands made it into the semi-finals. Apart from that, there were again more or less 500 people, which made for a sufficiently large audience.
The good thing of Emergenza is a strict organisation. So at 8pm sharp, Nowhere Fast started the evening with what I call superfluous grunge revival, bordering on necrophilia. These youngsters probably discovered grunge rock with the publication of Kurt Cobain's biography and the subsequent looting of the Nirvana archives to release another greatest hits album. If these guys had made this kind of music 5 or 10 years ago, it would only have been unoriginal, but this way it made my stomach squirm. Who needs this crap, apart from the bunch of 14 year old neo-grungesters whose arms were not reaching up high enough to be counted. These guys will not only go nowhere fast, but they will surely go nowhere at all.
Then came what the whole world was waiting for: the first ever gig of the sublime Mighty Pussy Lickers. I had already the honour to listen to some rehearsal tapes that blew my mind away already, but live on stage, these guys were the Gods themselves. Clad in funnily colourful overalls, they gave a new dimension to the concept of comedy rock. Starting with the soon-to-be-classic Kakadu Et Moi, revamping Entombed's Night Of The Vampire in a reggae sound, playing a yet nameless stoner song with improvised vocals, doing a Christmas song in February and telling people it's never too late for a Christmas song, or ending with the intellectual masterpiece De Bob As Schwul, there was just so much in this small half hour that I just couldn't believe it... and the audience neither. They were found flabbergasted and voted enormously for The Mighty Pussy Lickers. People were screaming Pussy Pussy all over the place, and I guess the Emergenza organisers didn't expect such an enormous reaction to this band that is just too easily dismissed as a joke. Watch out, they surely are funny, but far from being a joke. Fuck off, J.B.O., and make room for The Mighty Pussy Lickers.
After this, everything would have been a lowdown. Still, Paraflip brought a lot of fans, and their so-called retro-rock wasn't as bad as you would have expected. Especially the singer-guitarist got some cool sounds out of his instruments, and his solos made a lot more sense than 99% of what you hear in heavy metal music. His vocals need a little bit of working on, though, and Paraflip should get a bass player as soon as possible, because there were just not enough depths in their overall sound.
Talking about a joke, it was again Purple Haze's turn. I have been told that it was already their third time trying to get into the semi-finals, and I am NOT sorry to say that they still suck. I remembered them as having been a boring bluesy alternative band, so consider my surprise when I was confronted tonight to a full-fledged Fluyd clone, complete with rap and melodic vocals and totally uninteresting songwriting. It is not enough to know how to play your instrument, you need some goddamn inspiration to play rock'n'roll music, and Purple Haze have as much of that as the average amoeba, if at all.
It was not supposed to become any better, and although Solipsism didn't sound like Fluyd, the probably had only heard Rage Against The Machine in their lives. I really like RATM, but their music gets the fierceness mostly because of the explosive political content. Solipsism are a band who clothe their message in colourful statements like Fuck That Shit... or was it Fuck That Sheep. I don't care either way. Also it needs to be said that I dislike strongly bands that get a name out of a dictionary and then look as intellectual as your average soccer player. Does Luxembourg and this world really need bands like Purple Haze and Solipsism? Luckily no, as the result was to show at the end of the evening.
The first and only heavy metal band tonight was Bleeding Sword, and their lingerie showed already that they are huuuge fans of Iced Earth. As you see these days more and more metal fans wearing Iced Earth shirts, you wonder if the Earthsters are already in the same league as Hugo Boss? Bleeding Sword might be an interesting band if they were a little more professional, but this still sounded like too much amateurism, especially the bass player seemed unable or unwilling to play clean. The vocalist was mostly ok, although also he needs to work on himself. Ophidian yesterday showed that metal from Luxembourg can be absolutely overwhelming, but maybe Bleeding Sword need a little bit more time yet. And their attempt at a Metallica coverversion would have been punished in several countries I don't care to name now with severe consequences. That was really bad, the way the drumming went there.
It must have been three years since I last saw d-fact, and I remembered then as a good but rather generic hardcore band from the high north of the country. It's a well known fact that since some time they have ex-Clean State vocalist Marcel on guitar, and it seems as if this did a lot of good to their sound. Marcel seems comfortable in the role of evil looking guitarist with lots of backing vocals, and the regular singer had a stage show that scared the shit out of me: tattooed, pierced, unshaved, uncoordinated, totally out of breath, missing parts of the vocals. This sounds bad, but wasn't. This was hardcore the way it has to be: wild, energetic, emotional, full of adjectives. This was new school sound without sounding too modern, like a thunderhead rolling all over you. The music was so distorted that it was hard to make out anything at all. They were - as a matter of fact - the only band that really caused me severe earaches, and I love them for that. So far they are also the only band that gave out a Fuck You to the Luxembourgian government for not condemning American warmongering in Iraq, and that deserves respect. Just as a point of observation: musicians from retro hard rock bands like Fireball and Infiniti apparently seemed to enjoy the show as much as I did, so maybe there is still hope for them.
Claudine Muno is something like a really good songwriter, so I was waiting with high expectations for Fourmis, her new band project with the vocalist from Vaselyne Connexion who failed yesterday, and this woman's husband. Fourmis was nice emo folk, but somehow totally out of place between d-fact and Short[k]ut. The very minimalist music was at its best when Muno sang, as she has a really great voice, but then sometimes it was so mellow that it awakened Hippies All Must Die emotions in me. By the way, apart from her good voice, Muno's also looking very cute. I wouldn't be surprised if she started something like a big career one of these days, even if Emergenza wasn't the right place for her.
Finally, Short[k]ut ended the evening with their very modern sounding nu-metal with two vocalists and a DJ. I liked the turntables stuff, but the overall energy just didn't get to me. Maybe I was just tired, as they were already the 9th band of the evening, or maybe their music just doesn't make very much for me. It was more professional than Inborn the day before, but Short[k]ut didn't reach d-factish levels of energy at no time at all.
Like the day before I got the four winning bands right again, although the order was wrong. Here's the final score: 4. The Mighty Pussy Lickers, 3. Short[k]ut, 2. Paraflip and 1. d-fact. It has also been these bands who deserved to get into the semi-finals. Fourmis were just too sad for this world, and the other four bands still need to work a lot on themselves before they can consider something like that. And even though I said that the four winning bands deserved their victories, I was still very much surprised that The Might Pussy Lickers found such a huge following, but in the end quality always excels. And now I need some rest so that my ears are cleared up again for next week.