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REVIEW: Greg Puciato // King Tuts, Glasgow, Scotland. 04/03/24



Greg Puciato has never been one to do things in half-measures. After a long tenure in The Dillinger Escape Plan, his focus has since been split among a multitude of projects; his electronic outfit The Black Queen, the metal supergroup Killer Be Killed, and more recently the hardcore punk band Better Lovers (featuring several ex-members of Every Time I Die). As if that wasn’t enough, Puciato also found time to release material under his own name, releasing two full-length albums and an EP over the last four years. As Better Lovers get ready to release their first studio album later this year, Greg Puciato takes this space in his schedule to get a solo UK tour under his belt, bringing New York industrial outfit Trace Amount and some local acts along for the ride.

The brilliantly named Glaswegian noisecore two-piece Moni Jitchell are first up tonight’s bill. They start off in an unusual way, addressing the crowd to say that there won’t be much in the way of chatter during their set as they blast through a bizarre set of noise and hardcore-inspired material to a largely bewildered audience. As is often the case with “noise” music, it can be difficult to appreciate for those not initiated in the subgenre, and their individual talents often become lost in the wall of sound that they produce. Sure enough, they are off the stage before they take any more time to interact with the crowd.

Trace Amount – the one-man industrial project by Brandon Gallagher – take things in a different direction. There is definitely a warmer reaction from the audience as Gallagher thumps and screams his way through what could be some instrumental dark-electronic bangers in their own regard. With that being said, there is a rawness to his vocal quality that undoubtedly takes some getting used to. The flashing strobe light work – much to the bane of photographers – helps in establishing the murky club vibe during this electronic set, but even this doesn’t quite bring enough to the table to win everyone in attendance over.

Everyone is here for one reason, and that’s to see the man himself. Greg Puciato and co take to the stage and soak in their welcome before the chaos commences. The opening track Force Fed blends brilliantly into the heavy opening chords of Reality Spiral before they plod through the down-tempo Do You Need Me To Remind You and churn through the sludge on Absence as a Presence. Puciato takes some time to mention that he is feeling under the weather and that he considered cancelling/postponing the show. Aside from some slight wobbles on No More Lives To Go and some noticeably more energetic performances on the back half of the set, it would be hard to tell that he was operating at anything less than 100%.

While it’s a shame that Reba Meyers (Code Orange) hasn’t made the journey with them and they make the decision to omit the brilliant Lowered from their setlist as a result, it’s impossible to wipe the grin from your face when the synth intro from A Pair of Questions hits, made even more otherworldly by the dancing lights and the energy of the room. Puciato’s solo material is such a melting pot of his various extensive creative interests, and they’re combined tonight in a very unique way. The more contemplative moments like Never Wanted That hit just as hard as the full speed Down When I’m Not, and the grunge oozing from Deep Set plays so well in the small venue.

Speaking of grunge, Puciato and the rest of the band leave the stage saying something along the lines of “Be Right Back”, in turn leaving the audience not entirely sure whether to give him an encore or not. As promised, they return and belt through Creator of God and Evacuation before Puciato indulges the grunge again, beginning with a brilliant acapella rendition of the chorus of Man In The Box by Alice In Chains. Laughing to himself as the crowd throw the lines back at him, they pay tribute to Alice In Chains once more, performing a brilliant cover of Them Bones – this time with his band expertly performing behind him.

Tonight has been a long time coming for Scottish Puciato fans, but the wait more than pays off. He previously mentioned on Instagram in the lead up to this tour that he’s “not sure when he’s going to do this again” regarding his solo material and his growing list of commitments. While this is undeniably a shame, tonight’s show gives this material the respect it deserves. Hopefully it won’t be as long as he thinks, but while we patiently wait, there is more than enough to get excited about in the Puciato camp.


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