JACKDAW REASON 23 & FRANTIC ALLDAYER
SAT 5TH MAY 2012
Gig reveiw by JOHN MCLEAN
HELLBENT & HAMMERED
A power metal band clearly influenced by the likes of US metallers such as Pantera, Hellyeah and Drowning Pool. They play lazy stoner grooves mixed with a stomping Texan swagger. Music that infuses a crunch like rhythm with wailing guitar licks. The guys have an ideology for this form of metal and they demonstrate it well. They aren’t trying to cover any new ground, just make songs in a chosen format they enjoy. I get that and they played a good set, an enthusiastic and fiery start.
ALTERNATIVE CAR PARK
ALTERNATIVE CAR PARK have an explosive opening that shakes our attention and wakes us up. The music is abrupt and aggressive yet emotional in areas. The songs are like pent up stress balls of frustration that frequently cough up energy. Initially they reminded me of an angry Soundgarden. The visual impact of a group of large hairy blokes enforces the implications of the music. Unfortunately the set loses momentum and becomes a bit monotonous. Songs become sounds which soon fall into a hideous state of repetition. It is an interesting fusion of hard rock and grunge which captures an honest and raw emotion. The vocals are strong and compelling. They got good beards, good hair. I look forward to seeing them again having developed more.
XII BOAR are three young fellas that make loud hard rock music. A strong musical force with clear song writing ability, but you can’t help feel that something lacks to complete the sound. The songs are imposing with have persuasive uncut edge that blends metal and grunge. You would watch them at a festival but at this point in time you probably wouldn’t buy the album.
They need to consider their image, on stage, as a reflection of the message they mean to convey in their songs. Basketball vest with long hair is a little Pearl Jam, Ugly Kid Joe for the heavy music they play. For me it’s the start of something interesting but needs tweaking.
Connotations surrounding the noun ‘belligerence’ include to fight, to be forceful, hostile or behaviour with attitude. If this was my band I would probably call us ORTHODOX or STANDARD in relation to our sound. The music is very conventional and run of the mill in terms of what popular metal is today. In areas of the songs where the guys look passionate and motivated you try to feel a sense of involvement but they unintentionally form a dull and exhausting set. Full of passion but with no connection. Perhaps DETACHMENT would be the ideal name.
This act consists of one punk chick with a lively hairdo, an electric guitar and a backing track. She is a little like Peaches or a Marilyn Manson solo act. Her sound is an electro pop punk rock fusion with a repetitive, simple dance beat, clapping and girly angst lyrics. The vocals remind me at times of Debbie Harry or PJ Harvey but NOIZEE is different. Easy dance beats with clapping and playing along with a guitar begins to resemble karaoke after a while. The clapping and simplistic backing track allows for a prominent vocal but the songs are predictable and monotonous. The concept is good but unoriginal. The beat is the same for each song- 1 – 2 – 3 – 45 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 45. On a positive note NOIZEE was the most unique attribution to the line up. She stood out from the rest, even if only for her individuality.
SWORN II OATH
These guys demonstrate what I consider to be progressive new metal. That shrieking new wave sound you either love or hate with obliterating guitar riffs and ‘back-off I’m dangerous’ lyrics. Using the method of repetition, shouting or progressively getting angrier, to emphasise significance of the words. They pull off a good show and have a great overall sound. SWORN II OATH could fit an early slot at the Download Festival without question. They make good catchy songs and certainly have a grip on performing. A well constructed set, but a tad late night Radio 1 friendly. Dare I say, without trying to dissect genre too much, something for the mid-range metaller. The band has much potential but their material is not unique.
MORDECAI are all about the softer rock; the kind of hard rock that cries if you kick it because it’s got feelings. All the tracks build up and explode into a steady wrestling anthem style groove. The Scream Lounge is overcome by slow nods and wavy hair. Nickleback are a band that spring to mind. Every song is neat and pleasing but they all sound the same. It soon falls into an unfavourable category of foot tapping background rock music. Another well constructed rock formula that needs a little more fire, nothing new to hear or see.
Snakebite arrive on stage and take control. They clearly know the ropes because their set looks like a routine that comes naturally to them. Jason does a great job as front man, hyping up the crowd and keeping us involved throughout the set. Crunching flared guitars and sturdy drum beats are the driving force behind SNAKEBITE; loud prominent music addressed and performed with confidence and charisma. It becomes apparent by the change of atmosphere that the crowd is here to see this band. They have a decent local following and a strong relationship with the spectators. Opening with ‘Monolith’ immediately sends pulses through the crowd and gets people moving. A lethal set including songs like ‘60 Units’ contributes to a solely hardcore set from the SNAKEBITE crew. They bring true metal to the Scream Lounge. It won’t be long before we find these guys playing venues like Brixton Academy in my opinion. A tremendous all day event, finished appropriately with a loud and angry metal band.
Words by John McLean