Heyrocco – The Cookie Leicester – 6th October

“This song’s about premature ejaculation”, drawls Heyrocco’s lead singer, Nate Merli, as this much vaunted trio from South Carolina launch into their opening song, Melt (previewed here). It’s not packed at the Cookie in Leicester but it’s fair to say that those in attendance have had their attentions fondled.

Such blunt introductions to their songs continue to characterise this gig as we get to know the interests and attitude of these Nirvana influenced pop-punk kids who balance self-deprecation with an assured swagger. “This song’s about being a loser”, states Nate but we don’t believe he really believes that. Two swooning Japanese fan girls mouth along to the words and you sense that Nate will soon become a winner.

He’s certainly quite a captivating frontman. Shambolically dressed in odd converse boots (does wearing one black one and one white one make them inverse boots?), Nate jumps and flails around the stage. He’s playing at being a tortured soul, a bit too charming and polite to ever completely descend into madness but when he stands up straight and rolls his eyes into the back of his head, you wonder if he’s about to fit. The stage at the Cookie is only raised a few inches higher than the audience but at one point, Merli brings his microphone stand and guitar amongst us to really break down any sense of them and us.

Bass player Christopher Cool, acts as his name suggests and stays calm throughout concentrating on creating a tight rhythm section with Taco Cooper on drums. There are times when these two freak out but those are few and far between. The final song of this 40 minute set arrives which signals the right time for Taco to leap from his bass drum, rugby tackling Nate to the ground. It’s a play fight, a high school rumble but perfectly in keeping with the laddish euphoria these mates are trying to create. It’s also a pretty fine climax for a gig that started with a song about premature ejaculation.

You have to give special credit to the excellent promoter for this gig and many others that happen in Leicester. Ian Magic Teapot has been putting on gigs for years and I’m sure he must lose a small fortune when potential punters decide to stay in their warm houses instead of venturing out into cold Autumn nights. The shame of it all is that tonight at the Cookie for a mere fiver, people would have seen a band that are still learning their live craft but are already displaying the signs that any return visit to these parts will demand larger venues and more of a ticket scramble.

 

Heyrocco – Melt

A week today, I’ll be heading down to one of my favourite Leicester venues, The Cookie, to watch a band that I really cannot make my mind up about.

Heyrocco came to my attention by virtue of a press release that promised the earth. Here’s a band that are “in pursuit of becoming the biggest and loudest rock band of their generation.” It’s probably mandatory for any band trying to launch careers but it’s refreshing to know that Heyrocco have a “compelling image and an onstage persona that’s in-your-face rock and roll.” Just in case there’s any doubt (there is), it’s of great relief to know that this is a band already endorsed by Kerrang! and Huw Stephens of Radio 1. Sounding like the first Foo Fighters album, this is “perfect rock with massive hooks and sign along choruses“. (The press release suggests sign along choruses – I’m not sure what that might be!!!)

When confronted with such hyperbole, my typical response is to press delete but something had grabbed my attention. I had five minutes to spare and I thought I’d at least have a listen to their single, ‘Melt’. First impressions are that it’s undeniably derivative.

But then I’m drawn to the words of ‘Melt’… Hang on, is this what I think it’s about? Suddenly, it becomes clear that this is a song about premature ejaculation. These cool, rock and roll kids with a ‘compelling image’ and ‘sign along choruses’ are singing a song about a very intimate vulnerability. I had Heyrocco down as brash and slightly arrogant Americans but here they are revealing something completely different.

I’m still not sure that they’ll be entirely my cup of tea. I might be blown away.

But (and I’m sorry for the use of a rather obvious pun here) next Monday cannot come soon enough…..