Music Reviews

“An Unexpected Heavy Side To Alex G’s Music”- Live Review: Alex G @ Rescue Rooms

Natalie Howarth

Alexander Giannascoli, better known as Alex G, is currently on his UK tour for his 9th album, ‘God Save the Animals’, released in September 2022. The American multi-instrumentalist is known for his eclectic essence that does not conform to any specific genre, but is often categorised as indie-rock. Gracing the stage of Rescue Rooms with his presence, he put on an energetic and enigmatic show, assisted by his talented and awe-inspiring band! Impact‘s Natalie Howarth reviews.

The night started off with the support act, Momma, a California-based band part of the modern indie rock scene, inspired by the 90’s alt-rock and grunge scen, dominated by bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement and Nirvana. Arguably a perfect fit for the warm-up, they provided an ambiance that can be categorised as influenced by the dreampop or shoegaze persuasion.

Inspired by the likes of Elliot Smith and Pavement, this show was unexpectedly heavier than I had anticipated. Many artists usually stick to a certain sound, and my initial impressions of Alex G was that he makes chill, ambient indie-rock music, to name a few personal favourites, 16 Mirrors (‘Trick’, 2012), Salt (‘Beach Music’, 2015), Boy (‘DSU’, 2014). However, staying authentic in your sound as an artist is not necessarily always a good thing, the mode of experimentation to show range of an artist’s ability I feel is a strong trait in producing music; I definitely felt this during the set.

A mellow song with an ambiguous meaning

The second song to open the set was Runner, one of his most famous tracks from his most recent album ‘God Save the Animals’, a song that got the crowd singing. A mellow song with an ambiguous meaning resounding a 90’s alt-rock quality, a melodic and melancholic performance embodying Americana; to see it live was a real treat.

Midway through, the song Brick from the 2017 album ‘Rocket’ was performed, and became a personal favourite from the entire setlist as an anomaly compared to his familiar, indie/rock/folk sound. It combines a lot of elements of industrial noise and hardcore punk with the assistance of a distortion pedal and lyricism that depict his dissociations. The stage presence in this moment was stirring! Following this song was Horse from the same album, an avant-garde, instrumental track that acted as a temporary catharsis to the intensity of Brick, and a bridge to the next song Blessing from ‘God Save the Animals’, a song with repeated, liminal lyricism and abstract experimentation.

Simple yet beautiful lyricism

The encore consisted of 5 songs, mostly requested as he asked the crowd what they would like to hear. Their penultimate song was Alina, where Momma were welcomed back on stage. The folk influence on his music comes alive in this track, with simple yet beautiful lyricism. I really enjoyed seeing both bands collaborate in the final moments of the gig.

As a huge fan of his earlier works, I was devastated by the fact that only one song from the albums ‘Trick’ and ‘Beach Music’ were played (despite it was his ‘God Save the Animals’ tour). Regardless of the omission of his earlier works, I enjoyed seeing his new album live and an unexpected, heavy side to Alex G’s music.

Natalie Howarth

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

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