Not quite wreck a party

You could have put money on what the Dethkats are going to sound like from their appearance, sporting the odd mohican and some stylish homespun fashion they are undeniably from the psychobilly mould and that's pretty much what they do. Visually they are vibrant and entertaining but tonight at least the music doesn't quite reach the same standard.

Despite having two guitars the sound is tinny and it makes it hard to pick out the tunes, which is a shame as lead guitarist Matmus comes across as being an accomplished player with a succession of guitar gurning faces to match. The dual male/female vocals are a mixed bag, Miss Moe's vocals work well but are countered by those of James St James that are muffled and fairly tuneless throughout. The between song banter is entertaining but their brand of psychobilly never really gets much of a groove going. There are a couple of songs where they make an impact but overall there just aren't enough hooks or catchy choruses to capture long term interest.

Obvious comparisons to King Kurt or the Cramps aren't unfounded at times with the faster songs in particular showing some promise. Much of the material sounds fairly similar however and the real problem tonight is James's performance. He certainly looks the part but he never seems comfortable as a front man, he just doesn't put over the attitude or the performance that could have made a real difference to their overall effect. He spends much of the time being fairly static and never takes the opportunity to engage with the audience and ultimately it's frustrating to watch. King Kurt, the Cramps, the Meteors and even Horrorpops all have one thing in common that sets them apart and that's a great frontman/woman. Dethkats don't have that tonight and they need it as the rather muted reaction from the crowd suggests.