Leeds Music Scene

Gig review of Hopesfall + Nora + A Destructive Issue + Shot By Both Sides

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Reviewed on 18th August 2004.



Live at Joseph's Well on Tuesday, 10th August 2004

Before I start I'd just like to say that I've eaten the nicest tea I've had in ages tonight. It was a stir-fry. It was nice. So yeah, the review - Tonight was packed full of kids in tight t-shirts and ripped jeans and I felt like an extra from W.W II (that's Wayne's World 2 for all you kids that thought I meant the war. Hoot hoot)

And the girls. Thanks, just for being there. I haven't got laid for like two months and you all made my life just that little bit better last night. I love you all.

Anyways, the first band on tonight were a lovely bunch of chaps who go by the name Shot By Both Sides (don't think they'd go down too well in Iraq) and yeah they were alright. Their music was a strange mix of punk and metal all under the banner of thrash, because yes, they played very fast. It was a strange get up definitely, and I can't decide whether it worked for me or not.

I think it was the fact that both the singer and the bassist played on the floor, leaving the guitarist and the drummer alone on stage. It didn't look complete and kinda retracted any kind of stage presence that might have been there. It just looked hollow on the stage, like there was nothing in particular to go with the music. But I suppose on a bigger stage they all would have all been happy as Larry.

The sound these guys were producing was structurally cool; they opened with 'Hydropathy' (a song about mental firemen maybe...) and 'Mad Pride' that were both played at rapid pace. The next song, 'Montreal' sounded great, with a Slayer 'Divine Intervention' era sound, albeit with a bit less double kick, but the speed and aggression was still a noticeable factor in the music.

The thing that most bothered me about this band was the 'lead' singer, who only sang 20% of the songs. He looked cool and screamed well enough but was just not doing enough work for me to justify a reason in the band, the job he was doing was the job of a backing vocalist. Screaming three times in a song when you're the lead singer just isn't right.

As a lead singer, your ego should be visible from space and you should want to be in the limelight as much as possible (all you ego-fuck lead singers out there just remember - you'd still be singing Karaoke in the pub if it wasn't for the rest of your band who have actually learnt to play an instrument, so there...) rant over.

The first notable song of the night was 'Angel' with its excellent chuggy riffs that kicked in every verse bridge or so. It really brought the heavy stuff and started to give the crowd a taste of what the rest of the night was going to be like.

'Angel' was then topped by the very next song, '1 Step forward'. With its heavy riffs throughout, screaming from the lead singer (awohoo) and Seps' style drumwork from the drummer, 'Angel' gave us a quick glimmer of the bands full potential.

The last song of the night, 'Luck dictate' was again a much more simplistic 'metal' style choon and was a clear-cut band favourite, which was reflected by the crowd's appreciation. It was a solid finish and the band looked much more at ease playing this heavier older style metal.

I think the problem with these guys is that maybe they rush into writing songs. I dunno how long they've been together, what they do or what sick fetishes turn them on, but on a personal level I think that a little longer perfecting songs and maybe a little more focus on exactly what they wanna do musically, then the possibilities could be endless... (Cue mysterious 'Doctor Who' music.)

But seriously though; no, seriously c'mon, I mean, I'm being serious now. Who is Doctor Who? Who is he? Does anyone know? Answers on a postcard to...

A Destructive Issue was the next band on, or A.D.I. as the cool kids call 'em. Four lads, one with big hair, one with even bigger hair, one that looks like he's just itching for his next hit of smack, and a quiet, mysterious one. You've gotta fuckin' love it mate.

Now I can't remember when I've seen these guys before, but I have, I know that much. Their first track of the night was a dedication to their mums about how clean they manage to get their clothes and it has to be said, their clothes did look mighty clean. The song was called 'Lenour'. And t'was a cool song. The singer Rich really did have an ex-smacko look about him but it was a good look for him. What he also had was an extremely mature voice. For a guy who looked so young it was impressive to see such good use of his vocal chords, a talent that a lot of front men tend to overlook. His voice had a similar strain to Kurt Cobain's, but not in a bad way, if you know what I mean, it was similar style to the 'In Utero' Kurt. Rich also had a brilliant scream that really convinced me he had just taken a swift kick to the balls.

With two guitars on stage the sound now became a lot denser and complete, allowing for duel melodies and more complex song structures, and above all a heavier sound.

The second song 'A day of...' played immediately after the first was like seeing lab rats have clamps attached to their nipples with high voltages of electricity sent through them. These guys can twitch. Like motherfuckers. And they can all scream like hell as well with drummer Booly and his hair sat at the back slaying the double kick and throwing in some vicious screams every now and then. Good multi-tasking-but isn't that what women are supposed to be good at??(I'm just jealous really.)

'Downer' followed next with some ridiculous speed double kick that saw drummer Booly look like he might actually break a sweat, other than that he looked fairly chilled considering his feet were going at 1,056 mph. It was noticeable throughout this song, despite the manic stage movement and intense complex riffage how professional the band sounded, with a real experience about them, it was really cool to watch and listen to. It also had to be said that this song, 'Downer' has the sickest breakdown for an ending I've heard in a long time, since at least last Sunday. The riff was quite simple proper bo, and deserves without doubt full compliments from every genre of heavy music for its all consuming badass-ness. It is cool to see a slightly different twist on the norm of emo-core; this is more like 'New-wave Hardcore' with its breakdowns and complicated guitaring, but at the same time encompassing melody and style.

With only six songs in their set it was surprising how long these guys were on stage. It makes you appreciate the amount of work that goes into each song. 'This could kill' came next and as a token to the Punktastic CD, which it is on, I'm not gunna say shit about it. If you want to know what the song sounds like (and it is cool) go buy the CD and support all the local Leeds bands fuckers.

The finish to the set came in the form of 'Stop Gap.' Which again was a heavy as fuck song that displayed just how good each member of the band has become. It was as tight as a nun's crotch and was a fitting end to a fine display of Leeds born British quality.

You know who these next fuckin' guys are.

Opening with 'The Goddamn champion' Nora sliced up the crowd like a knife. With discordant melodies and a heaviness that wouldn't be out of place on Pantera's '...Trendkill' album, this band really looked awesome. With front man Carl Severson being the only person I have ever seen who would scare Kerry king. He stalked about on stage like someone had just nutted his mum in the face and the music was the soundtrack. It was cool to see such a professional display at close quarters, with the band whipping the crowd up into a frenzy with some of the strangest (if not most aggressive) slamming I've seen by a bunch of people.

The second song of the set 'Nobody takes pictures of the Drummer' set the crowd for want of a better word, batshit. This was a fine display of pure aggression that again saw front man Carl own the stage, With complex riffs and breakdowns as thick as an African elephant's dick this is a band that really has nothing nice to say. They are pissed off with something and I wouldn't like to be that something when I bump into these guys in a dark alley. Without wanting to categorise these guys I would have to say they are simply kick ass metal. This music is like some kind of fucked heroin overdose. Man it's good, really fuckin' good.

The track 'I should've sent flowers' saw a much simper attack musically, which reminded me of Hatebreed and Speedhorn's kinda shit. (The bands own label 'Ferret Music' releasing Speedhorn and Funeral for a friend in America.) With a sick groove this song had members of the audience climbing the walls and fitting to get a descent view of the band in the packed out venue.

'Quitters' was another brutal track, the kind of shit you would listen to whilst drowning your children.

But ending of the night had to go to these guys for the sickest live version of 'Last one for the money.' With an excellent awareness of time and space in their riffs the finishing breakdown still has me stoked, watching the sweat drip from each member of the band whilst stomping out that last fuckin' riff is a happy memory for me and I would imagine for the other 200 odd people that showed up to witness one off the most professional and down right dirty bands I've seen display their talents in Leeds.

The headlining act for tonight's crazy show was the lovely Hopesfall. Again, as soon as these guys started playing it was clear how accomplished they were. It was evident that these were also a lot mellower than the previous three bands, as they never really hit any of the heavier breakdowns we had come to expect from the earlier bands, instead opting for a melody rich chorus or bridge with a clear tune and good vocals.

Throughout the gig it was noticeable how professional these guys sounded, but to me they sounded very similar to the Lost Prophets, which in my book isn't the greatest of things but hey, my book's only small and the prophets are pretty successful... They also had a similar look, which I don't mind how people dress but it all looked a bit forced to me, like maybe they were trying a little bit too hard to be a certain type of band.

Despite my good for nothing opinion, the rest of the crowd seemed to love this band. This was the most packed I had seen Jo's Well and the first time I've seen speaker diving at the venue (I'm sure I've never lived.) With members of the crowd tearing at the mike to sing along with the band I'm surprised the lead singer got out alive.

I did feel that maybe this band would cross more genres and appeal to more people than support act Nora, with a much more clean cut type of music. Though still hard enough in places they were much more atmospheric in their structure and build up. This I believe, is a band who are at most, a 15 rating (think videos), where as the other bands of the night were all definitely pushing for that 18 certificate.



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A Destructive Issue

melodic hardcore

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