I haven’t ever really been into properly screamy hardcore. I mean, if you’re screaming that loud, lyrics are arbitrary. You could be roaring out the phonebook for all the audience knows. Paired with a bit of melodic singing in the vein of something like Alexisonfire, and I can appreciate the joyful aggression but you’re not going to catch me humming along to The Devil Wears Prada on my ipod. However, last night, I absolutely fell in love with Feed The Rhino. There’s a trick to this kind of music because anything that’s supposed to be painfully serious and intense is only ever a hair’s breadth away from becoming a ridiculous parody of itself and so if you’re going to be a screamy metalcore band you must go balls-to-the-wall or die trying. And boy did, they go for it. Their frontman had the balance between terrifying and fascinating in perfect harmony and the impassioned headbanging and face-pulling provided by the elastic-necked bassist was definitely attention-grabbing. Look, I have no idea what they were on about… better rights for pensioners, Miley Cyrus’ jockstrap… whatever it was it didn’t matter because by the end of their set everyone was clapping along, even the emo kid with the matching t-shirt/belt buckle combo!
They were followed by bizarrely cartoonish Chelmsford natives, The Dead Formats. I suppose that if I hadn’t have had to look at them I might have enjoyed their Cake meets a severely watered down Specials sound, but then Paul pointed out to me that when he put them on a few days ago my response was, “What is this crap? Turn it off!” so maybe not. It wasn’t just the fact that one of their over-tattooed vocalists looked like he’d fallen out of Flushed Away but more the fact that he seemed permanently surprised by everything including his band mates, his microphone and his own lyrics. Paired with a trilby-wearing, arm-waving, sneering counterpart, it was just off-putting and quite obviously put-on. Maybe they should take a Gorillaz style approach and play behind a screen.
Turbowolf, on the other hand, are a visual feast. Their singer looks like an even scrawnier version of Eugene Hütz (something I pointed out the first time I saw them) and their guitarist and bassist are both unnaturally beautiful. I’m convinced if the L’Oreal binned malaria-riddled Cheryl Cole and put the bassist in their shampoo ads they’d sell twice as many units. I’ve never seen a band with a name that fits their sound so well. Blasting out early 80-s style hair metal that conjures up the likes of Motorhead and Sabbath, they’ve clearly landed in the wrong era, but oh what an era to hanker back to. And with some fabulous little synths chucked in hear and there, it might just be modern enough to make it. I loved them even more this time… but even with that said, the night still belongs to Feed The Rhino.
We didn’t stay for The Plight… because, well… The Plight suck… probably a good thing because I’m still deaf today!