23 June 2016

Copenhagen based trio, Less Win, played in store at Rough Trade East on the eve of the release of their third album, Trust, and delivered a brooding and powerful set, brimming with nihilism.

Looking every part the post-punk band in their black shirts and trousers, their performance featured the majority of Trust, alongside some of their older tracks, including ‘Bayonet’ from 2014 EP Further. The three piece stripped out the more experimental elements of the new record, with no strings or brass accompanying them. Instead they focused on the punk infused aspects of their work. As a result the underlying melodies of tracks such as ‘Where You Lay Your Hands’ played second fiddle here and were at times lost amidst the distortion.

Whilst the breadth of instrumentation and musical influences evident in Trust may not have been on show in Rough Trade, guitarist Casper Morilla was every part the lead man, sharp and stuttering in his movement, powerful in his guitar playing and intense in his vocal delivery. His performance of ‘Haunted Skin’ was riddled with anxiety as he implored someone to “peel off his skin,” before the track descended into a crescendo of shredding guitar work.

Patrick Kociszewski, in contrast, was more fluid in his movements and appeared at one with his bass. However, he also proved capable of delivering similar levels of intensity as he replaced the saxophone work in ‘Jealousy’ with his own fierce bark. All three band members shared vocal duties, with drummer Matthew Moller taking the reigns for ‘Guilt In The Glory’, whilst continuing to deliver crisp drumming that managed to simultaneously cut through and work with the thundering bass lines of Kociszewski.

As raw and uncompromising as Trust, this striking performance proves Less Win can transfer the energy and attitude of their live shows to record and back again.

Read our review of Trust here, released 24 June on Big Oil Recording Company.

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Words: William Sutton
Photo: Amanda Hestehave