If there was any doubt about the amount of buzz around rising London band Black Midi, after witnessing their show at Hackney’s EartH on Tuesday night, it can be confirmed that hype has reached boiling point. The young foursome managed to sell out the 1000-cap venue with only two songs on Spotify and a couple more out in the wilderness of the internet to be tracked down – pretty impressive. And with their debut album Schlagenheim to be released just a few days after this performance, they are right on the tipping point of greatness.

They certainly came out and performed as if they still had something to prove. Last time I saw them, just over a month ago, they played in the round, seated, and improvised patiently for the first hour. This time, they came out to a blasting techno song, and then made no bones about getting instantaneously loud, launching into the rollicking Schlagenheim opener ‘953’. Black Midi looked like a band well beyond their years, duel guitarists Geordie Greep and Matt Kelvin both sporting hats more akin to someone later in their careers might wear (think Bradford Cox or Michael Gira). Kelvin, in particular, shuffled about in antsy fashion, completely unselfconsciously meandering as he played, lost in the excoriating sound of his instrument. Main vocalist Greep looked like a natural at the microphone – even if his vocals aren’t what many may classically think of as singing.

The merge from the explosion of ‘953’ into recent single ‘Talking Heads’ showed off the band’s tightness, with drummer (and utter powerhouse) Morgan Simpson nimbly and stunningly leading his cohorts into the spiky track. Bassist Cameron Picton took his vocal turn on ‘Speedway’, which grew in menace, reaching a level of tension beyond that of the recorded version, with sparks seeming to fly off the interwoven guitars. ‘Of Schlagenheim’ gave the audience another hefty dose of the madness they can expect to hear when the record comes out on Friday, as it slowly builds tension before jackhammering pure rhythmic noise, flipping to a placid interlude and back again, somehow never losing balance.

Improvisation is an important part of Black Midi’s genesis, and they took moments to delve into segments of unplanned aural exploration on this occasion. At points they sounded like they were performing some kind of apocalyptic shoegaze, sometimes Simpson’s drumming cut the noise up like hectic techno rock, at others they brought the sound down low and Greep stepped to the microphone to croon – although what came out is more like the wail of a dying swan. Throughout these periods, Simpson’s drumming became even more of a focal point, with all of the band members turned towards him (perhaps subconsciously), watching him for guidance through the changes, and the excitement of the unknown captivated the audience.

The segue from one of these moments of improvisation into the pulsating ‘Ducter’ was an encapsulation of why Black Midi have already built up a reputation as a fearsome live band; moving from structureless to rigidly written rock with breathtaking smoothness. Matt Kelvin’s vocal turn on ‘Years Ago’ was show stealing, as he growled his lines more than the recorded version, matching the beastliness of the combined reverberation of the instruments. The rolling out of Schlangenheim’s extended central track ‘Western’ was another showstopping moment, as the track builds from laid back Led Zeppelin-esque melodies into mountainous peaks of sound and then cuts suddenly back; the band never seemed out of control as they guided the song through these hairpin turns.

The night ended, as we all knew it must, on ‘bmbmbmbm’, the song that first introduced many to the band. Now re-recorded for the album, the song is even more of a hammerblow in the live setting, with those ominous opening chords instantly sending a shockwave of excitement through the crowd. It wasn’t long before everyone seemed to be rocking, or jumping, back and forth with the heavyweight seesaw of the track, trying to yowl along with Greep’s now-iconic repetition “she moves with a purpose.” With one final pull-back and explosion of aural force, Black Midi punched a hole through the performance and called it a night, leaving the audience to turn to each other, wide-eyed, and let tumble a series of expletives and superlatives, as they stumbled out into the night.