Preview: The Exciting Bands Playing the One-Day Riffffest

This weekend, Rifffest will be bringing some of the best riff-heavy music to Leeds’ Lending Room. Zack Moore previews:

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First of all, we have to talk about Leeds’ very own Brooders, the coolest band you’ve never heard of. Musically, no other band in Leeds comes close. Tracks like ‘Haze,’ and the more recent entries ‘Lie’ and ‘Breathe’ demonstrate how Brooders can pull off a uniquely creepy atmosphere focused entirely around the heaviest riffs you’ll find in psychedelia. Utterly serpentine. Check them out.

Faux Pas is next. One word: Brilliant. Another: Weird. This was the impression previous shows left on me, and I still feel the same. The music on offer is still in the psychedelic realm, but that’s under-selling it. Faux Pas takes songs which could have been emotional roller-coasters on their own, and then pairs them all up with one of the strangest and best guitar tones I’ve ever heard. These are riffs you have to see to believe. So do.

Rifffest - Adore::Repel.JPGAdore//Repel. Post-rock without the pretension. They have the best album of any band on this list, 2016’s Empty Orchestra. Admittedly, the band is somewhat light on the riff side of things, but when you give them the chance, you’ll find a group that can take you on an emotional journey through their music, telling entire stories without saying a word. If that’s not the mark of a great band, then what is? Also, check out their song, ‘Months Ago.’ It’s their best one.

Bloodhound is a stoner rock band who seem, like most stoner rock bands, to take some influence from Black Sabbath. Other obvious comparisons are the more mainstream bands in the genre; Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood, you know what they sound like. I’m predicting some great, fun riffs, but nothing that will make your head explode, either.

Household Dogs play, and I’m quoting someone else here, “Pseudo-Country.” It’s an accurate tag, but it doesn’t do justice to how cool they really are. Like Adore//Repel, not much to riff home about, but the little music these guys have is so good that I’m willing to forgive them. Yee-haw.

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False Advertising is a full-on Grunge band, and better than a lot of the original ones. I can’t deny it, they’re great on all fronts. They take the best parts of their influences and create something which sounds like a true modern day adaptation, if not a little safer. That’s not to say that they’re fuelled by nostalgia, though. In fact, I’d say that False Advertising’s music is proof that what we have right now is just as good as the classics, if only we were willing to dip deep enough to find that out.

And, finally, we have Hands Off Gretel. Don’t let their placement here fool you; it’s only because these guys have already achieved a small degree of recognition that the others have not. So, what do these soon-to-be rockstars sound like? Nirvana-worship. Absolute, head-bangingly undeniable Nirvana-worship. If the frontman wasn’t a frontwoman, I’m not sure I would even notice a difference. Which, of course, means that they’re fantastic, and you should go see them immediately.

How does Saturday the 26th of January sound? Lending Room. Tickets are only £7, and I’m pretty sure this is the closest you’re actually going to get to a perfect festival line-up this year, so why don’t you just go?

The riffs will be waiting.


Zack Moore

Header Image via Rifffest.