Laeto/Gasgiant, Potterrow, Thursday 9th October

Don't mention the 'P' word? I'll whisper it; "post-rock", a handy category for bands making melodic instrumental guitar music. That's what locals Gasgiant gave us, a nice mix of the loud and the quiet. There's another potential grouping under the 'Mogwai' category which is at times accurate: Gasgiant made glacially-paced melodies in a style which we once called 'slow-core'. On 'Loverboy' they showed they have their own line in understated tunes and indeed rather spoiled the feel by rocking out towards the end of their set.

Dundonian eardrum-torturers Laeto have worked hard to shake off the preconceptions that being young with guitars in Scotland can bring. For starters they sang - well, shouted - on opener 'wildnaturecrank' but in fact the vocals weren't missed during their subsequent numbers. The guitars at times shimmer, like, say, the Cocteau Twins had taken up thrash, but although subtle time-changes and intricate melodies featured heavily, Laeto like it LOUD. They didn't play 'songs' as such, but on 'Tears on the Golf course' you wanted to sing along anyway.
The other striking feature is the sheer skill of the four musicians who performed with breathtaking interplay, often at breakneck speed, yet somehow avoiding any jazz or prog-rock nonsense. It's appropriate then that they closed with Deliverance where - yes - those dueling guitars featured once again.
So, can we file Laeto under 'P' - for pop? Maybe not, but on this showing they're capable of anything.

this review appeared (in amended form) in the Edinburgh Evening News