Gig review: Imp/Department M/Menace Beach at Brudenell Social Club

Department M
Department M
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Judging by tonight’s confident line up, 2014 could well be another great year for Yorkshire bands.

New year, new Yorkshire. Imp sound more like a breezy US dream pop experiment, à la MGMT, than a four-piece from Wakefield. There’s a skewed surf vibration to their sound which seems at odds with the broad Yorkshire accents. But the whole package is presented well and sounds positively tropical on a blustery January night. It’s eclectic, too, with meaty hooks you can sink your teeth into. Ones to watch.

Department M are the closest thing to a Leeds supergroup we’re likely to find, containing as it does members of bands like These Monsters, This Et Al, Stalking Horse, Menace Beach and Grammatics. Owen Brinley was the brain box behind the latter and Department M is his new thing – replacing the monster riffage of his former band with a nightmarish landscape of hypnotic synth swells and broken beats. It’s a compelling sensory assault and yet strangely accessible, with Brinley proving again how he is a master of melody, no matter what weapons he has at his disposal.

Menace Beach can boast similarly sterling connections. They’ve pinched the drummer from Sky Larkin and the former Komakino front man. The band play a fuzzy garage rock with psychedelic visuals and a tie-dyed nuttiness. It’s a whopping big sound which has drawn the attention of BBC 6 Music, who have been dutifully hawking their Fortune Teller single, among others. The songs are catchy as hell and, like Department M, can be found on new collections of recordings, which are all well worth listening to.

Gig date: January 24

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