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REVIEW/PHOTOS: Polyphia Glasgow SWG3 10.5.23

When you think of virtuosic guitarists, Tim Henson and Scott LePage of Polyphia should immediately come to mind. Alongside the talented rhythm section provided by bassist Clay Gober and drummer Clay Aeschliman, this Texan quartet is a force to be reckoned with. Their combined musical prowess and chemistry on stage are the key ingredients behind their undeniable success. These guys are the real deal, these guys are 'America's Band' and they've earned their rightful place at the pinnacle of the instrumental progressive rock genre that they practically re-defined.

Amidst a raucous crowd at Galvaniser's, the members of Polyphia made their entrance onto the stage, one by one, as if assembling their musical weaponry. The sheer demand for their talent had prompted an upgrade in venue. I couldn't help but feel privileged to be in attendance. Without that opportunity, I would have joined the ranks of those who missed out. Kicking off with "Genesis", track one of their highly anticipated, 4 years in the making new offering "Remember That You Will Die", Tim Henson effortlessly turns the complexity of Polyphia's arpeggiated patterns into child's play. What might boggle the minds of most, Henson can play with his eyes closed. Polyphia embodies innovation, consistently defying expectations and captivating us with their masterful blend of styles. Personally, I have a soft spot for the album version of Genesis and admittedly missed the touch of Brasstracks' influence during their live performance. But let's be honest, that's just me being a touch greedy, yearning for every possible flavor in a single experience. Next up, "Neurotica" This track, fresh off their latest release, is as pristine as Henson's dazzling white Nike's, capturing your attention from the very first note. It's a masterclass in controlled repetition, building anticipation with each cycle, leading you into the final 30 seconds that unleash a whirlwind of intricacies. LePage brought the banter in between last night's songs and dissolved boundaries between music-geeks and guitar-wizards. Scottie, with his infectious energy, enthusiastically ignited a frenzy of crowd surfers that added an exhilarating dimension to the atmosphere. "Please, everybody, give it the fuck up!!!", Scottie screams, as we bask in the brilliance of Aeschilman's first drum solo of the evening. As expected from the unrelented talent Polyphia supply, Clay's drums provide a firm and frenetic rhythmic bedrock, allowing the guitarists to freely roam and explore their musical playground. His impeccable timing and skill serves as the glue that binds their collective genre-binding wizardry. Love them or hate them (apparently some people do... they're wrong) Polyphia continues to reign supreme, leaving no doubt as to why they are held in such revered esteem. Their latest set served as yet another testament to their extraordinary talent. With awe-inspiring musicianship, an uncanny ability to blend complexity with catchiness, and a distinctive sound that defies categorisation. Polyphia, with support from Johan Lennox 10th May 2023

Victoria McKee

Head over to the photo section to check out the photos from their set!


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