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On Battles

On Battles

by Max Barashenkov / 20.03.2012

Another trite music piece. Hobble along. Subject: The variable relevance of Battle of the Bands competitions. Case study: Niva BOTB finals at Mercury Live. It won’t get much more exciting than that, so either dick out now or just read the ‘new band’ PR crap towards the second part.

Why the fuck would anyone pay R40 to see five unknown bands when there is an Assembly gig down the road with Shadowclub, LA.VI, Wild Eastern Arches and support electro crew? The correct answer is, of course, only because they nurse a severe case of retardation. Chalk me in. My own case of fetal alcohol syndrome I cover with a hunger for fresh sounds and an idealistic notion of people being out there, in the drunk, to find something new, to add an unexpected high to their night. But, in fluorescent reality, going to watch five acts you’ve never heard of, on a prime Saturday dusk, is very much for the untermensch. School kids, rent-a-crowds and family. That kind of filth.

Yet, initiatives such as this, or the (Thor, forgive the self-molestation) Debuts & Experiments, are, arguably, essential to any kind of growth. Things sowed on commercially enriched manure, on average, usually bloom quicker, in lush colours and fade equally fast. Those that are bred, on the other hand, on the blood of empty tavern shows, well, those few that survive, they make the real bands. But what do you say about a band that has been in five such competitions? How do you, once again, spew out the expected ‘Facebook is not advertising’ play? The sad truth is, you put on Cash-shades and produce. Invent icons. Hatch generation-defining thoughts. Hope to find that exploding act that they pay for in Rolling Stone. We all know that only miracles propel Battle of the Bands’ winners into real sustainability, but you go anyway, to scope out the fresh talent, to do your bit and, in all fairness, you are a better person for it. A broadminded and multi-tasting motherfucker.

My life changed during that 20 minute Mantra set. Lyrical hara-kiri. Beat Armageddon. Die Antwoord are sent packing away on holiday. Zef is an unknown footnote on the pages of South African music history. To rhyme like Mantra, you have to be born from a uterus soaked in Busta Rhymes and DMX. Actually, nothing will ever make you spit lines like him, with that conviction, the total and honest belief in his art. It’s beautiful really. A techno-rave warrior. His track ‘Activate’ will make you want to pick up trannie hookers, kill them and wear them like dresses. At a certain point it moves beyond the absurd and becomes too hilarious not be enjoyed. His fans wear flowing white T-shirts with an Ohm sign on them. They go off so hard that they clear the dancefloor. I’m reminded of Insane Clown Posse and their juggalos. A cultural experience not to be missed.


An unlikely duo of acoustic guitarist and delicate violinist, draped in a red dress. Technically probably the most proficient of the bands on show. LUMA play unlabored arrangements of gypsy dance, classical passages and flamenco nods. They would go down like a treat in a smoky club somewhere, where people come to drink in elation and dance to something that doesn’t have a steady beat. Add more members and LUMA can blow out faces at all the hip gatherings like the Flamjangled Teaparty. As they stand now though, filling and carrying through a set on a Mercury stage is a little beyond them. They are just not that kind of band and their sound is a refreshing glass of water at the end of a vicious binge.

Find Luma on Facebook here.

Loveglove Pyrotechnics

Everything that has been said about this band still holds and, as they emerge as winners of the night, their talents for setting the stage on fire with their sex has only been amplified. It is almost amusing to see Loveglove play first, draw the biggest crowd and leave the other acts with an impossible benchmark to follow. They are that great to watch (and yes, they paid me R472 plus tax to say that). These boogie fiends will be playing much bigger stages and shows soon enough, worry not, there is enough talent and showmanship here to start fuel several Cape Town bands. All they need is a gig at &Union to break into the scene, man.

Check Loveglove Pyrotechnics on Facebook.

Ballistic Blues

Dude, if you’re so bored, then why bother getting on stage? I know the detached cool ting you are going for, but goddamn, take your hands out of you pockets. You are not Lenny Kravitz or Jimmy Hendrix. There isn’t a stone’s throw between Ballistic Blues and Loveglove’s variations on blues, but while Loveglove drop it hyper-sexy, Ballistic ramble and slouch through theirs. No denying though, by mid-set I’m getting into the vocalist’s vibe. It’s that suave and polished rock n roll that leaves me wanting more physical movement on stage. Yet success is written all over their nineteen year-old faces, almost as if they expect to just walk into it. And the thing is, they probably will.

Find Ballistic Blues on Facebook.

Someday Rush

What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said in their bio? “The band has entered a number of competitions: Flipside Song writing competition, Battle for Netfest, Aandklas Battle of the Bands (2011), The Durex Ultimate Battle (2011) and the Emerging Sounds National BOB (2011). They have played at local Cape Town venues such as Purple Turtle, Nameless Pub, Aandklas, R.O.A.R, Mercury and Die Balke (Worcester)… They have opened for some of Cape Towns finest such as; When Karma Sleeps, Autumn of August and Obsessie Met Als, and even Namibia’s finest, Out of Nowhere, during their ‘South African Siege Tour’…” Keep playing those battles guys, the fame is just around the corner.

Check Someday Rush on Facebook.

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  1. cnut says:

    Mc’ing wasn’t cool in the late 80’s/ early 90’s ware-house rave days in England… and it most certainly isn’t in the 2010’s particularly when the backing is as dated as the old DAT machines, 303’s and 909’s!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Some of Cape Towns finest such as: when karma sleeps? Come on dude, they are fucking lame…

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  3. Spanky says:

    Anonymous, do you understand the concept of quotations?

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  4. karma says:

    hey anonymous!i bet u couldnt wait to get that off ur chest right?shame poor thing,for u to even take the time out of ur clearly busy day to leave a comment like that must have made u feel like such bad ass.everyones entitled to their opinion,and i suppose losers like u fall under everyone..next time try masturbating wen ur frustrated.or how about u shut the Fuck up!u dont even have the balls to put down ur name and stand accountable for ur 2cents.ur prob lame, aren’t u?wot a fucken wanker!

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  5. just a fan says:

    @ anonymous: what is up with the hating dude?I happen to think they r kak cool!someday rush crew happen to some of the coolest peeps I have ever jammed wit.You don’t like their music,that’s your thing dude.I agree with karma.you should maybe stop tryng to suck your own dick and try and get laid intead of spending your time bad mouthing good people.That’s your “how not to be lame” tip for the day.Asshole!

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  6. nash says:

    @ anonymous: I happen to like their music,they happen to be a awesome group of people aswell!I would jam with them any day.I have to agree with karma though,if u don’t like it,that’s ur very own baby,bt maybe u should stop trying to suck you own dick and focus on getn laid instead of bad mouthing good people.That’s your “how not to be lame” tip for the day.ASSHOLE!!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    @karma, just a fan + nash

    Its obvious youre the same person, thats what sad. All this talk about masterbating and balls, first thing that comes to mind when tuning someone hey? Get help. You’re more than likely one of the band members too… Go make better music please.

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  8. verbalkint says:

    Dear Karma/fanboys/girls

    Some facts:

    1. Anonymous posted 8 words to which you needed approximately 300 for your comeback (see what I did there). In your defence, it is way easier to type while sucking the Dark Lord Satan’s dick than it is when trying to suck your own. That might explain the concise nature of his statement.

    2. Your music is objectively terrible.

    3. Your spelling is actually worse than your music. Maybe you should grow up and learn how to use the language you speak properly. Cuz no 1 can take you surisly if you cnt evn right.

    4. Yes I took the time out of my really busy life to write this inconsequential message to you.

    5. Your music is really really objectively terrible.

    I’m off to masturbate now and get rid of my frustration that your band exists in this world.

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  9. Gerard van Eeden says:

    Hey I am the bassist of when karma sleeps and I would just like to say that the opinions above are not that of when karma sleeps and we don’t want to be involved in this in anyway as it is childish and only goes on to encourage the culture of creating division in the cape town music scene. Stay gold.

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  10. Anastasia says:

    Dude!!! Get a fucking life!! i understand that u have your own opinion and you are more than in titled too it. but don’t judge before you have had the damn balls to get up that stage yourself and tried just as hard as these guys have to get a break!! I’ll bet that their will be a number of people that won’t like your music too!
    just have some respect and keep the negative opinions too yourself! or you could always just start your own band and then see how it feels when people start judging you negatively before even haven met you!

    God i can’t even believe i wasted my time on someone as malfunctioned as you!

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  11. verbalkint says:

    Chick!!! Get a fucking spellcheck!!!!!!! When I use 3 exclamation marks it means that I am being super serial!!! and i dont capitalize or use apostrophes. i am young and full of dumb.

    I do apologize. It is Facetious Friday. You can look that word up.

    And I do get up on stage and make music. And there are a number of people who don’t like my music. Negative comments are not disrespectful. They are just my opinion (right or wrong). And to those who think they make good music, well that is all that matters now isn’t it? Enjoy it and realize that your opinion is invalid.


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  12. WoW says:

    @Anastasia + other tweenies

    Its facinating how you all get so worked up over this, makes it look a bit like the band gets tuned a lot and theres an underlying insecurity here 🙂

    Think its best to just hush now little ones, awwww

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  13. carmen-lee julius says:

    Hey jeez guys play nice now kids.thank u tash,ana,and whoeva for sticking up for us but its totally not necessary, Everyone is entitled to their opnion,and anonymous I I’m sure you’re not the only one who doesn’t approve of our music,and you no what?That’s completely fine with us. We no that not everyone is always going to like our music,that’s just the reality of the whole situation I guess. I am kinda upset that anotha band got dragged into this and I’m not entirely sure why,but want to apologise and assure when karma sleeps that the band itself would never say or do anything to insult any other band or musician,that’s def not wot we r about.I’m the lead vocalist for SR and proud to be. We happen to love our music and so do our supporters and that’s all that matters to us. we might not be the best musicians or b everybody’s favourite but we love what do.Stop this nonsense now!it really is very childish and not kwaai at all.

    To the grammar police.I humbly apologise for any spelling mistakes pls don’t hate me now.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    The original post was not about someday rush being lame, it was about when karma sleeps being lame 🙂

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  15. Anonymous says:

    what the fuck. this mantra guy is kak bra. set up this awesome description and his skillls are kaaaaaak. talk about overselling.

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  16. Max says:

    @anon above – you clearly clearly clearly have a solid grasp on sarcasm.

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  17. Mantra says:

    I couldnt give a shit about the haters! My music was never meant for them. Hate all you want, but you dont know the first thing about me. Haters will NEVER stop me from spitting my tracks all over the stage! And to those of you who appreciate my music, keep it MANTRA! LOVE U GUYS! http://www.facebook.com/mantrabeats

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  18. nero says:

    hey, anon, i agree with max. furthermore, if you really want to diss someone, leave a name and dont hide behind anonymous like a coward – whether you like someones music or not. i saw the show and think it takes someone with balls to diss any band – especially local ones – with conviction and self belief. well done, mantra. a refreshing twist to rap.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Mantra rocks!!

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  20. Max is a CUNT says:

    Max Is a CUNT!!

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