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The Algorithm, Live in London

Live Review

Venue: The Barfly, London

Support: Centiment

We went to the Barfly to have our minds broken by The Algorithm. This is what went down...

Centiment’s obsession with video games make them a unique proposition.

This may only be the ninth show from InMe brothers Greg and Dave McPherson’s new venture, but they are already proving to be a band to keep an eye on. Tech-metal that is blisteringly heavy, but still has huge, soaring melodies sprinkled throughout. It is all bound together with 8-bit chip tune interludes between the songs, which results in a seamless flow of music. Think Periphery with a Tetris obsession and you’re half way there. 

This is far from a conventional show.

Speaking of enigmatic bands, the djent meets electronica meets everything sound of The Algorithm probably gave the person who sorts related artists on Spotify a nervous breakdown. As is to be expected from the two-piece, tonight doesn’t feel like a rock show in terms of what we’ve come to expect. It feels more like being in that futuristic club from the second Matrix film, but instead of being surrounded by cocksure fetishists, the aura of a hormonally charged school disco hangs in the air. Emotions are high, but an awkward trepidation means the start of the set sees many people not knowing what to do with themselves.

It’s about time the keytar made a comeback.

Rémi Gallego is clearly a stomach-wrenchingly talented guy, any green-eyed jealousy is replaced by being in awe of the crazy mish mash of sounds he produces. Throughout the set he flits between playing around with his table full of gizmos, strapping on a god-knows-how-many stringed guitar, and best of all – rocking out with a keytar. If you’ve ever seen someone bash out Van Halen’s Jump on one of these things you know how cool they are, and it’s great to see the instrument’s return to the stage.

There’s something missing from the live show.

While the musical chops of Gallego certainly can’t be denied there is something lacking in a visual sense of their show. The predominant lack of vocals and the absence of a frontman means there is no real focal point, and watching one bloke play drums while another twiddles with some knobs is hardly thrilling. It’s a shame the band’s humble size means a lack of a stage show, as you can imagine this being a thing of awe with a flashy lightshow or mind-bending visuals on screen, hell, even a projector playing those colourful swirls you get on Windows Media Player would be a welcome addition.

The Algorithm bring the party hard.

While their music could quickly become a beard stroking fest, it’s the more accessible (and we use that term very loosely) moments where the real highlights come. There are points in the show where those aforementioned uncertainties go out the window – pits breaking out during the heavier moments, the room explodes with dancing at their more euphoric moments, and hands are in the air clapping and the floor shaking for their take on Daft Punk’s Harder Better Faster Stronger. Ultimately the actual music is the real star of the show and this is harnessed by the crowd to bring a real community feel of everyone being united by this weird music and having a good time.

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