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After The Ice

by StuartGadd
StuartGadd
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on 21 December 2012 in Introducing

To some, Leytonstone rockers After The Ice may sound like a Radio Caroline ode to the winter solstice. The chances are, with their easy on the ear, AM radio friendly melodies, you will either be charmed by them or suspect this is some ruse concocted by Bill Drummond or Zodiac Mindwarp, such is the unabashedly mainstream nature of some of their work, with its blatant classic rock hooks.

On the eve of their latest mini-tour of eastern Poland, where After The Ice are quite the draw, we caught up with the power rock trio in Luton, of all places. Eastern Poland in the harsh winter months may be a grim proposition to some - but have you ever been to Luton?

Playing in a decaying ex strip joint which dripped sleaze and had remarkable artexing on the toilet walls, the band rip through the dank surroundings and present a tantalizing clutch of new material that hints of a ballsy new direction for a soon to be released EP in the late winter/early spring.

Thankfully, 'Wake Up' was more direct than the endless ringroads around Luton we had to navigate to get here as it unashamedly gatecrashes Cream's store of riffs and nicks some of the Groundhogs grimy English prog rider (prog is, after all, English). But 'Thick Snow Magic' made more of an appropriately pristine, pastoral prog; with its florid textures dripping from mainman Paul Lisak's guitar lines and his Ian Astbury meet Ian Gillan vocals.

Paul Lisak’s songs are ready to resonate in a wider audience, possibly on Kerrang and Absolute Radio. The group had a few setbacks since they started in 2009, junkie drummers disappearing and the financial crisis screwing their original backer; many a band would have crumbled long a go. ATI have pressed on and worked hard to get where they are and form a tight, compact rock unit deserved of success.

Tomek-Tomek, from Poland, is a powerhouse drummer who can still provide groove when it’s called upon. Hamza Bashir-Khan is the east London born bassist, bringing a preening flounce to the group as well as a touch of the JJ Burnel's to the bottom end. Paul Lisak, meanwhile, is the real Renaissance man. Born to French and Russian parents and raised in London, he is no less, an internationally acclaimed painter!

Neither he nor the others are moonlighting in the group though. Open all hours, sincere passion oozes through their music, and if you get a chance to catch them live you really should take it. It's a great night that may have you hurtling down a star highway in a Transit going back to the future, to a more innocent, Perfume Garden time. 

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