Hobo at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sun 24 Aug
Anyone familiar with Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s doorstep epic of conspiratorial speculative fiction The Illuminatus! Trilogy will know where the Fnords name comes from, and might well expect big things from a band who use it. In which case, they’d be pleasantly surprised.
The Scots power trio (their MySpace says they’re from Edinburgh/Glasgow/Stirling, so take your pick) are crisply presented, but a bit dirty too. Drummer Derek and bassist Megan look like your typical rhythm section, but it’s guitarist and singer Sarah who seems at odds with the band’s whole aesthetic. Blonde-haired and blue evening-dressed, she looks like she’s ready for a night out with the office on George Street, but her voice and guitar form the kind of rough growl that even PJ Harvey hasn’t engaged in for a while.
The psych-garage onslaught becomes a little samey after a while, but on tracks such as ‘Way Out’, ‘Starstruck’ (the lyrical reply: ‘just a cheap fuck’) and a cover of punk favourite ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, The Fnords show signs of delivery on their already considerable promise.