Groundswell @ The Varsity, Wolverhampton

"Long time, no see" was the opening line. And he's right, it's been a while since this pair of ex-(Ned's Atomic) Dustbinmen were last seen on a stage. Rat and Jon that is, now half of Groundswell and about to play a debut gig that, whilst not being stunning, was certainly worth the 90 minute drive.

They'll obviously not want to be compared to the Neds; it's hard not to make the comparison though, Jon's voice and delivery has hardly altered and pretty much any of the songs aired here could be turned into a Neds track with the same lyrics. Musically, Groundswell don't have the light/dark contrast of early Ned's tracks -- there being only the one bass player and consequently more guitar -- there's more similarity with "Bloodbrainvolume" material: choppy and noisy, verging on the hardcore at times, with a bit of Rollins-style shouting causing bulging vein and sweating brow. There's a few trademark time changes and plenty of intensity changes and even a bit of light moshing here and there. No obvious standouts, but the big advantage of not really sounding a lot like anyone else should stand them in good stead. More please.

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