Post Nothing is an event organized by Sun and Moth that took place on March 16. Having listed a few reasons on why you should have attended, we now provide you with our review.

Lambajain: kick-started the night with post-rock vibes and ambient sounds, with effects ranging from experimental notes to multi-structured patterns. They played two originals and four covers, offering us a diverse and interesting set list. Lambajain used lights and visuals in the background to reflect a psychedelic atmosphere, thus they started with a chaotic introduction that transited into “First Breath After Coma” by Explosions in the Sky. They covered the song in a very moderated way, in addition to the violin that made it sound more soothing. The guitar tone conveyed the exact feel that Explosions in the Sky have, but with a special Lambajain tone added to it. During the climax, the sound system was amazing, enlacing us with firm drum sounds played by Elie El Khoury, sharp yet harmonic violin, lightly synchronized guitars, strong bass, and ambient synth. Unfortunately, the drum tuning was a bit poor, making the music sound inconsistent at times, but overall it was really well-played. The second song they performed was “Yasmin the Light” also by EITS, developed by some drumming. In this song, there were some role switching, whereas Joe Antoun played the bass and Charbel Abou Chacra was on the guitar. The song generally starts in a very calm and soothing way, guitars that flow, tranquilizing violin, and well-sustained bass sounds. Their temporary guitarist, Jack Zekian, was unfortunately barely audible, but moreover during the climax, they did a really good transition. The song exploded in great tone, a violin like a razor blade and enthusiasm oozing out of Joe Antoun on the bass. The third song they performed was “Olsen Olsen” by Sigur Rós, going back to the original band distribution. Joe Antoun began singing while playing the synth, having symphonic, fresh vocals, complementary to the vibe of the song. Andrew Georges joined in on the vocals afterwards, in addition to the violin who took the lead in the song, replacing the flute-playing in the original song. Rami manipulated reverb sounds, whereas everything was punctual and precise, transitioning intro sharp and swift tones, terminated by the modulations of the violin.

Post Nothing

Photo Credit – Andrea Aya

Their fourth song was their original Pinvain, that sounds very transcendental, containing repetitive build-ups of timbre, dynamics, and texture. Rami Abou Chacra generated eerie sounds from his guitar to create a special atmosphere for the instrumental. Everything in this song was close to perfection, whereas at some point it became dark and melancholic on the bass, triggering in us all sorts of emotions. The climax was very abrupt and emotional; the synth gave it more way to being painfully chaotic. The harmonies turned into edgy tones, a violin that kept its feel and drums that maintained tempo. The song then flows into really calm vibes from all the instruments yet keeping cadence in the style of a downbeat. The tone of the guitars was very bright, even though the sounds started fading out, and that was when the vibe got psychotropic and “Eat the Flesh of the Communists” played over multiple times. “Take Me Somewhere Nice” by Mogwai played afterwards, with alleviating and calming harmonies. In addition to including the violin in the song which was a good choice, Andrew’s vocals sounded extremely beautiful and melodic. Amid the piece, it developed violently into “Greet Death” by EITS, which was very well covered. The combination between the two songs was very smart, a paradoxical medley between pacific and frantic. At some point though, the vocals were barely audible but the performance was very energetic, turning it into a sublime cover. They ended their performance with a new original entitled “Don’t Leave”. It starts off with tender vocals sung by Joe and compact bass sounds. Rami was quavering his hand swiftly, bashing the guitar, generating thumping sounds and noises; furthermore, the song goes silent, and Andrew leisurely plays the guitar, making the instruments merge together with marvelous sounds protruding from the synth. The song had a delightful nostalgic vibe, instruments building up like waves, yet crashing down gently. The climax was outstanding, having an aquatic feel, agitated yet beautiful, ranging from ups to downs, with stretched and looped samples. When the rest of the instruments faded out, Andrew employed vocals as purely instrumental efforts and incidental to the sound. The song abruptly explodes again just when you thought it was going to end, but after the intense comeback, the song ends expressively. Overall, Lambajain delivered an amazing performance.

Sun and Moth: The second band to perform was the psychedelic rock/post-punk band Sun and Moth. Their set list consisted of six originals that were all dynamic in sound, starting with an energetic intro accompanied by eerie, eccentric vibes. “Rapture” proceeded after their intro, and it was technical yet psychedelic and ambient. The vocalist Jean-Luc Maragel has very strong vocals and a steady pitch, Nasser Mazraani’s compressed bass sounds, in addition to the lead guitarist’s potential while playing, even though Bassel Hajj Hassan was barely audible at times, and finally, the drummer Julien Dirani’s steady-going beats. Their music is similar to the post-punk/gothic band The Horrors, sending out an experimental challenging atmosphere. They transited in an ambient way into their song “Blood Clot”, pausing then continuing their constructed harmonies and patterns, a fusion of tunes and dynamic sounds. The guitars have very sharp telecaster tones, similar to proto-punk bands like Velvet Underground. The drums also sound really well with the other instruments. In addition to that, it was chaotic and Gothic, it even had an oriental feel to it. Moreover, it was very energetic in guitar and also a bit dark. It was fast and accurate, drums maintaining tempo and a technically catchy solo. Even though the band was really good, the songs sounded a bit repetitive, thus they weren’t very diverse in tone, but overall they gave out an excellent performance. In their fourth song “Sharpest Knife”, Jean-Luc had powerful vocals, whereas the ambience of the song had a discernible Gothic influence, especially the tone of the guitar, being synchronized and stark.

The crowd interaction throughout all the songs was very cooperative, taking that Sun and Moth are generally kinetic in sound, they developed a fun atmosphere. The drums and the bass were punctual and expeditious, even though the drums had a sharp-edged sound. The song then became violent, wild in sound, almost berserk in technicality, including a lot of fills. Their fifth song “Frequent Flyer” is, in fact, released as a single, and you can give it a listen on SoundCloud. The song has a bluesy kind of tone in the beginning, and a very catchy riff. The drums are very technical yet well-patterned and well-played. Amid the song, delay pedals are used to protrude ambient and psychedelic sounds, shifting through different atmospheres. The chorus of the song is memorable in tone and lyrics, whereas it sounds catchy. The solo played during the song is a mix of blues, psychedelic, and Gothic, sounding eerie yet really good, using pedals to manipulate the tunes and harmonies, turning the song into a challenging yet fun listen. The last song they performed entitled “Sacrilicious” had bright guitar sounds and repetitive riffs, it starts off actively with fresh vocals, potent drumming, rugged bass, and cursive modulations of guitar melodies. It continues with the same vibe, in this one, the crowd interaction was also very effective, and the band was doing a great job luring the audience into focusing on their music. Sun and Moth delivered a really energetic and pleasant performance, with captivating choruses and boisterous melodies.

-Layal Gemaa.

Kinematik: Saving the best for last, “Kinematik” were spectacular, producing melodies that provoke satisfaction at some points and angst at other. The intro was loud, dynamic, and providing a very enchanting ambiance, a fresh atmospheric tone full of alternating dark and bright layers.
The songs were very professionally written: dramatic build ups that lead to spectacular climaxes, the perfectly woven electric guitars, the alternating fierce and synchronous drum beats, the distorted bass lines, and the amazing synth that adds a retro/electropop feel to the whole ambiance.

Great attention and effort were given to make the band’s light setup which added a great value to their already amazing performance. The lights were scattered all over the stage and it felt pretty festive in a noire-film kind of way. They were pretty dramatic in the first and second songs, hats off to whoever designed the light set!

Other songs included dreamy soundscapes that reminded me of French post-metal band “Alcest”. Here, notion to the drum beats must be given, as they would disappear and reappear in a mysterious manner, and the whole structure of the song makes you feel like a nomad on an outer space journey, and here the lights enhanced your imagination of the stars and meteor showers you’d encounter on your way. This feeling of wondering is magnified by the daring guitar crescendos and the usage of bold effects. There was this song with a dominant “thriller” ambiance to it, where the crowd was on fire, basically everyone was headbanging/swaying in satisfaction, and Anthony applied a very innovative playing technique. The song would basically trick you into thinking that it’s over, and then fiercely continue to progress perfectly.

When they announced that the latter was their last song, no one was content, we all preached for an encore and we got it, the best song they’ve played that night in my opinion. The build ups were very delirious accompanied with edgy and sharp effects that circled around an obscure main melody characterized with an 80’s synth-pop vibe, and a very futuristic feel, to end slowly. The composition of this song is breathtaking really, absolutely a favorite.

I got the chance to chat with Kinematik’s guitarist “Anthony Sahyoun”, and here’s what he had to say:

All our songs were originals, people who didn’t attend tonight’s gig really missed out, we are currently recording an album, actually all the songs we’ve played tonight are from the upcoming album, and we’re gonna release a video about the making of very soon.
Our influences include: Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Godspeed, German 1970’s bands…

The name “Kinematik” is basically combining the study of motion with cinema, the movement as videos, or photography.
In Lebanon, I think the problem with the local bands is despite being cultivated, and having their own  identities, the scene is limited, I mean you get to play like 10 gigs and then people will get bored.

But there are some very promising bands, especially Lambajain, they are young and they already achieved this so far, I mean I wasn’t like them at my age, and also Rami (the guitarist) is doing a great job, especially his experimentation with sounds.

Also, Sun and Moth are great, I haven’t heard a proper post-punk Lebanese band since “Scrambled Eggs”.

Cookie Shemaly.

Layal Gemaa & Cookie Shemaly

Read more from: Layal Gemaa.
Read more from: Cookie Shemaly.

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