London’s Islington Academy is never the most charismatic of venues, something that goes double for the smaller box room where tonight’s bands have been shunted. But faced with an appreciative, if not numerous crowd, Welsh band Exit International put on a show with enough energetic character go some way to making up this deficit.

Focusing mainly on being loud, they smash through a short set that makes up in noise what it lacks in nuance or variation. The “I saw, you saw, he’s got a chainsaw” refrain of a song titled, with characteristic straightforwardness, ‘Chainsaw’ marks a particular highlight of their sound, which has shades of the Pulled Apart By Horses about it.

A combination of two bassists, one drummer, and not guitarists was always going to make this gig rumbling, but the band is not entirely helped by some rather murky sound quality. Were they really singing “Where’s the glory hole?” at one point? And was that “thank you London” or “fuck you London”, as an opening nod to the crowd? It was hard to tell.

Luckily for them, Exit International has an engaging front man in Scott Lee Andrews, who manages to get beyond these limitations. That is provided you are amused rather than offended by some slightly-schoolboy digressions about finger fucking and dead mothers. And to be honest, if this is too unsophisticated for you, perhaps a band named after a pro-euthanasia organisation is not for you in the first place.

Exit International proved a better band than the night really deserved.











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