With Laurynas on guitar and vocals, Gabrielius on bass, and drummer Darius, the alternative rockers from Telšiai made leaving the house well worth it, despite the Lithuanian winter doing its best to keep people at home.
As Laurynas opened their 90-minute set with a cover of Chet Faker’s No Diggity, it became clear his voice – almost soulful in its gravelly, rich delivery – was something special. Most of all, it was an unexpected surprise.
And surprise is what defined most of the evening with No Intro. As they worked through the second track, one of their own called Walking Dream, up to the break at around the 45-minute mark, it became clear that in addition to Laurynas’ voice being one of the most distinctive I’ve heard from a Lithuanian musician – these guys are very, very serious about their music and they’re very, very talented.
It’s not often that one band can switch between borderline industrial rock, funk, and indie, while still keeping a consistent and recognisable “yeah, that’s No Intro” sound.
The danger of trying too hard simply was not there. And their absence of over-compensation was clear in the lack of overly-indulgent solos, or trying to imitate one of their favourite musicians.
After all, during the break, Laurynas told Music Export Fund: “people come for either a show or the music, you earn the right to f**k about.” Clear, then, that the focus was on keeping the music tight, sounding good, and keeping the sound clean.
Throughout No Intro’s 13 song set-list, there were three standout songs – firstly, Hey Honey, a track from Laurynas’ solo project, which had been transformed from a plucky, almost sweet acoustic number, to a full on Indie, dance rock track, able to rival anything similar from UK.
Second up was Never Ending Night, which featured a bass-heavy intro, a guitar-driven chorus and simple vocals; once again, a nod to Laurynas’ belief in taking live performances seriously when trying to forge a career in music and not overdoing things.
No Intro’s biggest highlight, however, was a cover of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine which showed some severe ballsiness by tackling one of the greatest songs of all time.
Fortunately, they made it their own by putting a rock slant on it with a chiming Stratocaster, and a forceful, driving bass. Again, Laurynas’ soulful voice made it a more than worthy cover. I may have then remarked, “f**k me, that lad can hold a note.”
In all, then, No Intro were everything you could possibly want to go and see from a rock band. The absence of gimmicks and imitation was classy, their abilities and sound were both surprising and diverse, and out of a number of emerging Lithuanian rock bands MXF has seen, these three were one of – if not – the strongest yet.
If their debut EP scheduled for release in early 2016 is as good as their performance at Liverpool Bar, then it will be exciting to see where they end up by next November.
Are No Intro exportable? Yes. Undoubtably.
Images: Domantas Pipas