Failure fans withstood a hot, humid tropical drizzle outside of Amoeba Hollywood June 30 for the chance to see the band perform after a 17-year absence.
The alt-rock band reunited last year after breaking up in 1997 due to personal differences. In that time, Failure maintained a sizable cult, due in part to the band members maintaining a visible presence in musical projects such as Autolux, ON and Year of the Rabbit. With their “classic lineup” of Greg Edwards, Ken Andrews and Kellii Scott together again, the band has been successfully touring, playing all over the U.S. and Europe, and at festivals such as Desert Daze and Sunset Strip Music Festival.
The band chose to focus half of its set on its newly released fourth album, The Heart Is a Monster, which has been well-received by both fans and outlets such as Pitchfork. They started the show with that album’s opener, “Hot Traveler,” a highlight as the song moved from muscular riffs to a dreamier closing. The Amoeba show featured the live debut of two new songs from the album, “A.M. Amnesia” and “Otherwhere,” sneaking in classic “Another Space Song” from 1996’s Fantastic Planet in between.
The band spared no amount of volume in giving these songs the heaviness they call for, allowing Ken Andrews’ vocals to float in and out as the delicate eye to the maelstrom. Though on record, Failure’s songs are fastidiously detailed, Andrews and guitarist Greg Edwards wisely fold in as much of those details into cutting chords and a low bass drone for maximum live impact, while Kellii Scott’s drumming is a barely reined-in force. The band acknowledged that they’d wanted to play more new songs, as beloved bands with new albums are wont to do, but that they were going to throw their fans a bone or two, which they did by closing with Fantastic Planet’s “Smoking Umbrellas” and Comfort’s “Screen Man.”
See more photos from the show here.