Not many bands can say they played every single day of a four-day festival. Well, Slow Down, Molasses can! The Canadian shoegazers took to the stage at various venues over the weekend. They mostly played songs from their brand new record 100% Sunshine, which you could buy on PINK vinyl (needless to say, we did).
Their music is a brooding blend of post-rock and shoegaze but with layers and layers of feedback, while frontman Tyson McShane‘s captivating voice gives it an intense twinge. Despite the dark sound, they manage to lighten the mood when their guitarist claims his moment in the spotlight during the last song and unexpectedly brings some hardcore-punk frontmanship to the stage. Hopefully next year the festival is back to its week-long best and they can book the band for seven consecutive days.
The big surprise of the festival came from An Ocean of Storms. This young local band plays straight-up post-rock, but brought back to the bare minimum: a drummer and two guitarists. No bassist, no singer, no bullshit and you can tell the individual members connect very well together. Their sound is mysterious and at points dreamy but slowly it builds up to a very loud and intense stoner rock. Starting out half-full, the room quickly fills up as the music grows in intensity and we all turn into a synchronised mass of headbanging, reminiscent of a classic Yob gig.
There is always plenty to do in Tilburg, did we enjoy a lovely food-truck festival last year, this time around there’s a dragon boat festival at Tilburg’s inland port on Sunday. So what better way is there to start off your day than watching colourful dragon boats race each other while enjoying some coffee in the sunshine? But there ain’t no rest for the wicked and ever too soon we have to make our way back into town for the last, possibly loudest, day of the festival. While we’re already excited for Yob, first up is Ramesses, who have come out of a break, or ‘hibernation’ as they call it, to perform at Incubate. If we were still half-asleep at the time, Ramesses made sure we were properly awake by the end of the show. Their sound is incredibly loud doom, interlaced with some sludge and even psychedelic influences and dark, almost otherworldly vocals. With their music still reverberating in our heads, we watch Deerhoof who bring avant-garde back into the festival. Their eclectic set centres around the energetic duo of drummer Greg Saunier and singer Satomi Matsuzaki. Some people are singing along, but a lot of others just stare in wonder at the stage with a dazed smile on their face.
Whilst during the previous three days 013 was an oasis of coolness compared to the sweltering heat of the ever crowded Cul de Sac and ever moshing Extase, during Yob even their air-conditioning can’t manage to cool down the mass of sweating bodies. But with our hair nastily sticking to our backs, we realise that sweaty rooms and stoner rock is, in a weird way, a perfect match. It’s been a few years since the last time Yob graced the smaller stage at 013, last time they played for four times as many people on the main stage during Roadburn. However, the intimate setting gives the performance something extra and despite some technical difficulties and the sound not being as loud as we’re used to at a Yob concert, they still give a very solid show. Their heavy sound and distortions, together with Mike Scheidt’s hypnotizing vocals, quickly have everyone in the audience headbanging (or nodding, for the people in the back) along.
Captains of the official Incubate after party ship are the guys from “Totally off the Record Metalfest“, who play records by legends such as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden in their entirety in Café Extase. Strewn about the place you find an undeniably impressive collection of inflatable guitars, on which you can finally give rein to your deepest guitar solo desires. The DJ’s themselves give a great example as they enthusiastically introduce an invisible Metallica to the stage (eliciting a grand applause and a lot of joking eye-rolls). Since the weather is still incredible, a large crowd of festivalgoers hangs outside the venue deep into the night, trying to hold on to the last strands of Incubate while sadly watching the last guitars deflate on the ground.
WORDS BY CÉLINE HUIZER