Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sleeping Panda Presents:

Brighton Hobgoblin
Thursday 9th December

Tonight is the second event for Sleeping Panda Promotions at the Hobgoblin featuring a heavier selection of music of punk, death metal and sludge. First act on were:

It's early days on the circuit for Rose Keller and tonight they show signs of a promising future. Their music takes influence from modern Death Metal bands such as Job For a cowboy, Despised Icon and Suicide Silence, so in other words brutality. Their songs are well written with some head-bang worthy grooves complete with over the top harmonics but their performance is what lets them down. They don't look like members of the same band wearing completely contradicting items of clothing and lacking a collective performance. However I am looking forward to what these guys do in the next few months as once these problems are ironed they may well become serious competitors for Brighton's Death Metal crown.

Target Girl
I did not review these guys tonight in count of how many times I have seen them over the last few weeks, I however helped Calum (Sleeping Panda promotor and Target Girl frontman) on the door.

Sak-Less Jack are always a great live band to catch on the local circuit and tonight is no different. The festive season is not lost on them with the frontman and guitar player wearing Santa outfits, also acting as a sweat sponge. They play to a smaller crowd but perform as if it were full. In addition to their set they play a new song that features a slight stylistic change with skank guitar that also sounds dubby in places. To complete their set and with this festive mood in mind the band play a full on Sak-less styled cover of the Christmas classic, “All I want for Christmas” - is my two front teeth.

This is the first time i've reviewed these guys and for a band that claim to be out of practice, they sure deliver a tight set worthy of their headliner position. Their sludge doom metal style can be likened to Down, Mastodon and Kyuss but is not like anything that can be heard in Brighton. Their songs are really interesting showing great use of dynamics and disgracefully dirty tempo changes that are painfully slow in places (in a good way).
Personality leaks from every member of the band who compliment each other very well making a huge presence in the venue. The frontman also gives off a great vibe as he prowls around the place like a circus clown gone wrong. It would also appear that Uncle Debauchery are irresistible to a particularly drunken fan who also makes a memorable performance of her own.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Black Sunday Promotions Presents: "Headbangers & Thrash 2"

Brighton Hobgoblin
Saturday 4th December

Tonight's event at the Hobgoblin sees a well fine crowd of loud and proud thrash hungry fans complete in their leather, spikes and denim. With the recent snow passing way to relentless wind and rain there is only ever one place to be and that is under the great hosting of Black Sunday Promotions. Due to circumstances out of my control I have failed to review Kickfist ( again! I am sorry guy's it wasn't meant to be. Maybe one day our paths will cross in a glorious conjuration of Metal and harmony, but for now it's time for:

This is the second time I have reviewed these guy's and the second time I am left unimpressed. Their new singer has definitely done more to integrate himself with the band and give of a better vocal performance than before. But their sound comes off the stage as a sloppy barrage of noise with tempo's fluctuating and guitars feeding back. They do however incite movement from the crowd with some heads a banging. But for these guys to really improve they need to adopt a more ruthless approach to mediocrity.

Mutually Assured Destruction
M.A.D. hit the stage delivering a tight set that really catches my attention. Their guitars are sweaty with condensation as is the audience with some serious windmilling going on at the front and a pit that the singer later joins. M.A.D. draw from a wide range of influences from the old school Thrash of Megadeth and Exodus, guitar and drum breaks of Dream Theatre and the party atmosphere of Municipal Waste. With track names such as 'Thrash Grandad' and 'Blu-tac Attack' there is everything in here for all Metal heads to like.

These guy's offer their take on Thrash bringing in some more Hardcore Punk influences on vocals. There was a complete paradox on stage with the frontman giving off great amounts of energy and the bass player, acting as a black hole that sucks it all back in. These guy's had some brutal grooves, some great tunes and an awesome drummer but it bothered me to watch them with a member that looked so genuinely unenthusiastic, how are we supposed to like it if you don't?

In the absence of a Bass player, Divine play to a backing track with the drummer wearing headphones meaning they had to be tight, and damn it they were. They play to a slightly smaller crowd than the previous bands but still give off an aggressive performance. They take from an eclectic range of influences, bringing speed, attitude, intense shredding and a huge drum kit that gets seriously worked on to the table. Their most interesting track of the night featured an Opeth like break down section into clean guitars. This dynamic change really makes for an interesting listening experience and would be better carried out through their set. These guys will have an album arriving on the scene sometime in January or February and I will be looking forward to what they sound like with a live bass player.


Monday, 29 November 2010


Concorde 2
Friday 26th November

Tonight see's the launch of a new club night at the Concorde 2; Revolt. This will be a quarterly event and after the strength of tonight, I cannot wait for the next one.
There was something to keep everyone here entertained, such as fire breathing, Dj sets, zombie fancy dress, stalls from local shops as well as Surfaces and Lithurgy playing, what more can you want?

Walking into the main hall, I was immediately greeted by the site of a clown wanking off a chicken head on the main stage; it was then I realised that I must pay the bar a visit.

Beer in hand and Aerosmith blaring through the speakers, it was time for fire eating act Miss Baby Bones walk onto the stage. She then whipped off her shirt (to a cheer from the male members of the audience), lighting her fire sticks. Miss Baby Bones knew her audience well as she sexually brushed her instruments across her arms before extinguishing them in her mouth to a pillar of smoke. This acted as a great warm up to:

These guys threw down an impressive performance with their Progressive, Tech Metal sound that assaulted the ears. Sounding like the bastard love child of Periphery, Architects and Sikth, they tore the Concorde apart, with their show only complimented by the perfect mix of the instruments. Their ball rattling bass mixed with their visually stunning synchronised head banging made sure that no member of the audience was left unimpressed.


Frontman Callum Kirk has only been in the band 4 months but already looks integrated and comfortable as he lets out some disgusting hardcore vocals. Surfaces have a punishing set list that refuses to leave my neck motionless particularly in their breakdowns which were tighter than my pants in the Playboy mansion. Surfaces will soon be embarking on a tour that will see them visit Belgium, Germany and other parts of the UK so make sure you catch them at their next Brighton show on the 19th of December at The Hydrant.

Between the two bands sets a best dressed Zombie competition was held on stage to a soundtrack featuring Lamb of God, Decapitated, At The Gates and Meshuggah proving to me there was no other club night more suited towards people like me. I quickly went to the bar just in time for Lithurgy.

I've been waiting a while to see Lithurgy and good thing it was tonight as this was the last gig till next summer whilst they write and record their new album. Fresh from a tour with Tesseract, Lithurgy are tight as nails with technical efficiency and energy flying off the stage.

From my built up preconceptions Lithurgy seriously did not disappoint, and I mean seriously. The band play with a new line up change of guitarist Tom Bates joining the band and Gazz relieving himself of his 6 string duties for the synth. This does only more to accentuate this band's already stunning sound.


In sight with their experimental and Progressive edge, Lithurgy are not scared to mix up the normal instrumentation of a metal band by also adding a saxophone, drum trigger pads as well an on stage floor tom to take their sound to a new level. This is great to see as it shows a band pushing the boundaries of heavy music rather than cashing in on current trends and stagnating the genre as so many bands do.
The bands E.P. Mother I is truly awesome and with their tireless work ethic i'm sure the album will be something for every metalhead to look forward to.


This whole night was run very smoothly, with the DJ's having the ear for what this kind of crowd would want to hear. Clowns walking round and other antics such as the Zombie competition this was the perfect way to spend a Friday night.

Catching up with one of the promotors after the event, it is clear they share a lot of mutual passion for the local scene. Wanting to make it a much tighter community for the bands and the fans.
With the closing of many local venues, and there being no large scale club nights to cater for the, well more heavily inclined. It is great to see someone take the risk and offer somewhere for us metal heads to hangout, listen to some tunes, knock back some brews and watch local bands play on a bigger stage, rather than just listening to Metallica ar some main stream venue that claim to have an 'Alternative night”

The promotors have a lot of ambitions for Revolt, using all profits to improve the next event. If it is anything like tonight, February 25th will not be a date to be missed.

* Sasha Nicole Photography
** Tom Frank 'The Tank' Photography


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sussex Jazz Orchestra

Sussex Jazz Orchestra
The Latest Music Bar
Tuesday 23rd November

Tonight's event was held in the downstairs theatre of the Latest Music Bar, formally known as the Joogleberry. Under candlelight the venue offers a pleasant atmosphere perfect for tonights performance of the Sussex Jazz Orchestra. The venue has a great sound coping with a large jazz band very well with a clear sound also coming out of the PA from solo mics. 

The bands line up is more stripped down with many of the senior members being away for various reasons, giving younger musicians more of a chance to display their soloing talents. Baritone player Patrick Billingham acts as a warm host throughout the event talking you through each track as well as passing the solo opportunities around the band. Patrick makes you feel very welcome and with all the other changes plus some new faces in the band see's the songs played with a different feel than I have previously seen.

The band played two 50 minutes sets, playing mostly the late founder of the bands Ian Hamer's songs as well as a few arrangements from Tubby Hayes, Paul Busby and Oliver Nelson.
There were many highlights tonight. Intro track Hamerphilia is always a great staple in the set list and set the night off with a bang.
Last track of the first set was Hamer's rousing 'Choose who's Blues'. This track featured many inspiring solos from the band members, particularly from Electric Bass player Jerry Dearden who played possibly one of the most exciting slap solo's I have ever heard.

The Sussex Jazz Orchestra always deliver a great way to spend a night, though the audience numbers are low I really doubt it bothers these guys. They just enjoy playing the music as can be seen by the expressions on their faces. It's great to see so much humility and unity with the band members applauding others solo's rather than entering a competition of ego's.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Black Sunday Promotions: Relaunch at the Hobgoblin

Brighton Hobgoblin
20th November 2010

This is the first time Black Sunday Promotions has put on a gig at the Hobgoblin since it's reopening this year. Tonight see's a sell out crowd with 100 plus people coming down to support local metal. Unfortunately headline act Surrounded by Disgust had to pull out due to some unexpected ill health from drummer Ryan Dennington. We wish all the best and a speedy recovery, hopefully we will see them on form soon delivering high octane death metal on a Brighton stage very soon.
This is the second gig I went to at the Hob this week, and they have added a small stage, which definitely does more to differentiate the band from the audience and make it feel more authentic.
Due to some bad time management on my part I missed first act Kickfist (
, but having seen them before I am sure they did not disappoint.

Graces Collide

Graces Collide play to a full room of fans (judging by the screaming girls on the front row) which sets off a good vibe for their melodic metal style. Their songs are well written taking on a more poppy approach which gracefully moves from verse to anthem like chorus. The frontman Dan has a great voice who's melody does much to capture the audiences attention and keep them gripped throughout the set. With the fan pulling power that the band posses I know it will only be a matter of time till we will see them performing at the top of their own bill.


Tonight was Acamar's first gig, so fresh are they on the scene that they don't even have a Myspace yet. At a complete paradox to Graces Collide, this 3 piece consisting of guitar, drums and a female vocalist play Darkthrone/Autposy like Black metal. Graces Collide fans quickly run to the hills leaving only select Black Metal fans who band their heads throughout the set. The band almost take a minimalist approach to their songs, but at points it became very boring as a lack of diversity and dynamics were called upon.
The band show potential tonight, but to really become something special on the local scene they need to play and perform to the intensity that Black Metal dictates.


Tonight was Subservience's third gig, and little would you know as they put on a hard hitting show that leaves the audience screaming for more. The band show a wide range of influences from Metal styles of old to more contemporary death metal, and would definitely be my choice of band of the night.
Frontman Jay Fitt has a brutal voice that really tops of the raw energy that gets the audiences head banging. Having just released their Demo 'Blueprint to Chaos' Subservience obviously know what they are doing and I will be looking forward to them punishing Brighton again in the coming year.


Gutterfly act as honorary headliners tonight, and do a fantastic job. Every member of this band are obviously very accomplished musicians in their own right, adding a little bit extra to the arrangements. The bands style were accurately described to me as Black Label Society covering Stone Sour, and made for a very memorable set.
Their frontman has a very distinguished voice and his performance reminds me of Trent Reznor whilst he handles the mic with such confidence. Gutterfly tick every box that a great performance should and theres something for everyone here.

It is great that Black Sunday Promotions are back at the Hobgoblin for all the memories that the old venue held for the bands and the fans. It is also great to see a sell out show, having the local fans show themselves in numbers, tonight shows a very promising future for metal at the Hobgoblin.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Sleeping Panda Presents:

Brighton Hobgoblin
Thursday 18th November 2010


Sice kick of the night with their style of Alternative Rock. Some technical issues such as broken strings challenge the band but fail to spoil their set, with help from the generous lending of Baghdad's Elliot Tatler.
The drummer is the highlight of the band, propelling energy of the stage, with his often Drum N Bass like grooves.
Simon Stone vocals often remind me of Jeff Buckley or Thom Yorke impressively reaching into the Falsetto, whilst running his fingers through some complicated fingerpicking rhythms.
Their songs are dynamically very strong, going from ambience into heavier sections that really capture the audiences attention. Sice offer a great start to a very promising evening of local acts.

Target Girl

Target Girl attack the stage with the same ferocity as is usually expected of them. Their sound is very clear through the Hobs PA system, making it easy to hear Calum Anderson's lyrics. The band give off a great energy tonight with splinters of drum sticks littering the stage at one point. The delivery of the songs particularly through the vocals were performed in a different manner than when I last saw them, offering a different insight into what makes Target Girl tick.
Their song structures with catch verses and chorus really stick with you after the band have finished playing. Hopefully it will only be a short amount of time till Target Girl are attacking my stereo in a similar fashion.

Baghdad Country Club

Brighton favourites Baghdad Country Club are by head count the band everyones come to see here tonight. It has been almost 2 years since I last saw these guys in Brighton's Coalition and they have certainly up their already high standards since then.
Baghdad give it all, not settling for mediocrity in any part of their set be it with performance, delivery or their songs. This is why they manage to hold the audience in the palm of their hand throughout the gig with many of the audience members singing the lyrics back to frontman Elliot Tatler.
This band were a real pleasure to watch tonight, even keeping the audience entertained between song, gratuitously reminding the audience of Harry Potter 7's release the following day, Hoorah.

Sweet Ether

Sweet Ether really come into their own as a headline act throwing down some serious doom laden grunge, hawking back to the drug infested scene of the early 90's. They begin playing to a smaller crowd than the previous band, showing a split opinion in the crowds music tastes, though the room fills out as their set continues.
Vocalist Riggs is very talented frontman prowling around whilst offering a vocal delivery that is brooding with honesty and emotion.
Sweet Ether have obviously put in some time since the last time I saw them, polishing their songs to a tee and also playing some new material that really gets my head rocking.

Sleeping Panda Promotions first gig tonight was a huge success, showing a diverse roster of acts that has really got me excited for what future holds. Calum Anderson and Nat McDonald are obviously very passionate about the music and it is great to have some new promotors on the scene that will really help to kick the local circuit up its lazy ass into the new year.


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Kill Goliath Myspace EP Review

Genre: Alternative/Progressive/Rock
For Fans of: Karnivool, Tool, Russian Circles, Pink Floyd
Must hear track: Red Pill

Lee Roche: Vocals & Guitar
Michael Patterson: Guitar
Keith Allen: Bass
John McGrath: Drums

Formed early this year from the ashes of their former projects, Kill Goliath are another talent to add to the all of a sudden surging and luring pool of progressive rock. Band members Lee, Keith and John moved over from Ireland to start the band with Michael and have mostly been gigging around London. With tracks sounding as large as they do it will only be a matter of time till you will see them in a venue near you.

Kill Goliath have a very mature approach to songwriting that really grips listener offering a perfect blend of musical technicality and melody. Each Kill Goliath track is like going on a journey with the band as the dynamics build and the beast evolves.
Their style could be likened to a collusion atmospheric bands of old such as The Smiths and Pink Floyd mixed with the heavier sounds of Tool and sometimes polyrhythmic approach of King Crimson. The band have a very clear and concise understanding of their sound, that only comes with experience. John and Keith lay a solid foundation with the drums and bass that perfectly compliment each other leaving Lee and Michael to put their shared guitar responsibilities to good use. Lee's vocals delivery is very pure and is a great final addition to fully round of this band.

The production is very clear making it easy to hear all the instruments and lyrics to the songs. Each track shows a diverse use of their instruments and songs 'The Lull' offer an interesting approach to songwriting that is as emotionally capturing as it is moving. The stand out track for me is Red Pill, as this was the later of the four tracks I listened to on their Myspace page. It features the heaviest riffs of all their songs and I felt it really help bring the listening experience to a great climax that had been cleverly build throughout.

Kill Goliath should be coming Brighton way in January 2011, and I personally can't wait to see them her sooner, for if this is what a band can do within the space of a year then I can't wait for what the future holds for them.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Paul Busby Big Band

The Brunswick, Hove
Sunday 7th November 2010

Tonight's gig was held at the Brunswick pub in Hove. This venue offers a beautiful and intimate setting for performances of any kind, and tonight is no exception.
The hall is draped in curtains and candlelit tables are placed around the room; one spectator commented that it was “like a Ronnie Scotts by the sea”.
This cold November evening sees a packed out venue, with only early comers getting a seat. This was for a good reason as tonight the wonderful Paul Busby Big Band are about to play.
Tonight's line-up, as any local Jazz boffin will know, is nothing short of exceptional, as can be viewed below;

  • Dave Moorhouse
  • Martijn van Galen
  • Rob Heasman
  • Bob Turner

  • Paul Nieman
  • Mark Bassey
  • Howard Beagley
  • Tim Wade
  • Alex Bondonno (alto)
  • Phil Paton (alto)
  • Brendan Kelly (tenor)
  • Simon D'Souza (tenor)
  • Anna Jordanous (baritone/alto/flute)

Rhythm Section
  • Terry Pack (bass)
  • Dave Trigwell (drums)
  • Paul Busby (piano & composer)

Composer Paul Busby wrote and performed a set entirely about Dorking, Surrey in May this year; tonight's set played homage to that as well as showing us an exciting taster of the Brighton set that is to come in April 2011...
The collective experience from this band that borrows members from; The Sussex Jazz Orchestra, OOMPH (Cassablanca functions band), Elephant, Straight No Chaser and Bellowhead to name a few.

The music featured a mix of conceptual jazz that lent to old as well as more contemporary styles. Paul Busby explained the themes that would be explored before the beginning of each track using the instruments at hand to their full potential. This was particularly used to great effect in track Vied Ac, which means Holy Oak in Saxon which is the hill upon which Whitehawk stands now. We were told to listen to the changes in weather whilst the band cleverly depicted wind and rain by blowing down their instruments.
The sound in the venue was fantastic, with the each member of the band having a separate mic. This sets a challenge for any sound engineer as the levels have to be constantly monitored as solos swap between band members.

Drummer Dave Trigwell is an absolute master behind the kit, unfortunately for I and most of the audience he was hidden behind a pillar meaning I couldn't see his impressive technical ability. Trigwell's playing was just as themic as the rest of the band, playing rhythms that really helped bring the music to life.

Terry Pack, has fantastic control of his instrument and a really fluid style in solos. This coupled with Trigwell make for an impressively tight rhythm section allowing a platform for the rest of the band.

The brass section featuring some of the biggest names in local jazz was one of the tightest i've seen. Their parts had been written beautifully, demonstrating flawless dynamic control and execution portraying a variety of emotions.
Paul Busby wrote some very interesting arrangements, and in one track, based around an old game of rugby that was played in Dorking by large gatherings of the town folk used the saxophones and trumpets to face off each other in a clash of harmony's and polyrhythms.

The gig tonight showcased some of the most talented group of musicians Brighton has to offer. I cannot imagine how the performance or songwriting could have bettered itself tonight in anyway, and this is coming from someone who's very particular about his jazz listening. Solos featuring the majority of the band were always befitting to the pieces with no trace of ego. This is a top band to see featuring some serious professionals who know exactly what they're, keep updated for April's gig based entirely around Brighton, will sure be one that can't be missed.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween At The Hobgoblin 30/10/10

Brighton Hobgoblin
Saturday 30th October 2010

This was the first time that I had been to a gig at the Brighton Hobgoblin since its changing of management, refurbishment and reopening in July this year. Although the beloved squat that was the downstairs bar now resembles some sort of wannabe fashionable gastro pub, gigs have now been moved upstairs to the impressive new venue room.
Clearly a lot of money has been invested into developing the venue and upstairs, with new sound equipment which only adds to the great sound and visual experiences. They have stopped micing up the amps which offers a much cleaner sound with less feedback; opting to just mic up the bass drum provides some extra meat and potatoes to a mix that used to be so muddy. 
There is no stage anymore, but I felt this actually added to the intimacy a room this size can offer.
Tonight had a disappointingly low attendance at times due to the White Night Halloween festivities that were going on in town, but however meant there was a large insurgence of The Undead watching creating an interesting and exciting atmosphere.
The gig was only scheduled to run for 2 hours due to a club night that was to happen after which meant that the bands also had disappointingly short sets, but it's a Punk night right? so what does that matter anyway?

The first band of the night to play were;
Target Girl

After having some line up issues in the past Target Girl offer a short but sweet set taking influence from a wide variety of music acts. It almost seem unfair to pigeon hole this band by listing their perceived influences but their sound often lends to the grungey styles of bands like The Pixies and Punk acts such as The Dead Kennedy's, with a dash of Queen's of the Stone Age for all their heavy worth.

Target Girl create and impressively large sound for a 3 piece band, with some tight and well arranged songs that make the most of this line up.
Calum Anderson's vocals were delivered with an heir of cynicism as he stared through the audience members letting his music deliver the message and not the performance. The drummer Joseph Yeates albeit a small guy, is an absolute powerhouse behind the drum kit, really propelling the songs off the stage. With Syd McLay completing the line up on guitar adding an original addition to the group. Syds lead work often lends to the megalomaniac schizo styles of Larry LaLonde of Primus and Robert Fripp of King Crimson. This adds an exciting diversity to the band sounding more like genre evolution than genre overkill.

TG have a strong collection of songs that are really catchy with some odd lyrics that Calum helps bring to life.Their set went from strength to strength and with and impressive climax at the end. During their last song Calum shouted into the audience telling someone to play his bass, which alas turned out to be me. probably the most conservatively dressed member of the audience, looking more as if I was going out for dinner with my Gran than to rock a punk gig. However Syd and Jo gave it as much energy a band can give (so much that the drummer broke a stick on the last cymbal hit) whilst Calum wandered round the audience shouting into people's faces with the mic. Syd overdubbed loads of guitar loops onto his pedal and the band simply walked away whilst noise still filled the venue, which was a very dramatic and exciting way to finish a great set.
Target Girl were my band of the night for their infectiously catchy grove and style and would also be a band I would listen to in my day to day life.

Lack of Joe

Lack of Joe are one of those Punk acts that remind you what the genre was about almost 35 years ago. To those who don't know much about Punk it would be far to easy to pick apart this act, when the point of this act is the message, not the music. This four piece were technically very lax and loose on the timing front but offered energy by the bucket loads. The band in true punk style claimed at the beginning of their set that they 'we're shit' before ploughing through the remainder 20 minutes as fast and as angry as they could.

Half the band were suitably dressed as Punk as you can get, mohawks, drainpipes, bleached band t-shirt with the essential pins holding clothes together with the other 2 members covered in fake blood and corpse paint. This was fantastic to watch and at times it was easy to think we were back in 1976.

Sonically the band bare close resemblance to the Punk styles of old such as Discharge, Sex Pistols and Crass with some more modern hardcore vocal styles.
Although the band didn't interact with the audience very much, with guitar player and bass player awkwardly having their backs turned to the audience most of the time, the audience still loved it with every Zombie in the house grooving to some rootsy punk.

The set peaked when a well placed cover of the Misfits Last Caress was played, showing the bands real potential as an act, having the audience practically in the palm of their hand.
Less Than Joe are a really fun act to watch and I will be looking forward to how they progress and see their performance match the intensity of their music.
Less than Joe haven't created anything new here but if angry old school punk delivered how it should be is your thing, then you will not be disappointed.

Sak-less Jack

Sak-less Jack are always a great band to catch live and definitely had the best stage performance of the night. The four piece were all dressed in undead blood splattered attire to go with the feel of the night, but unfortunately suffered from a dwindling crowd for the majority of their set, which would demoralise most less experienced acts. Personally the one thing that bothers me about gigging in Brighton is the lack of support fans and other bands often give to acts on the same bill, but alas Sak-less played to the room as if it were ten times as full.

Sak-less have a very diverse range of influences to make up their sound, and lie somewhere between Punk, Hardcore and Metal. The rhythm section of drummer Chris and bass player Gregg drives the band with their technical ability and power with vocalist Bill giving it all he can behind a mic. The energy the band give off stage is electric jumping and head banging round the place like crazed orang-utans hungry for their next hit.

Sak-less also inject a good bit of comedy into their set, with guitarist Tom singing into an invisible mic between drinking from his hip flask and can of beer.
The band had to prematurely end their set to adhere to the curfew time of the night and comically play some of the shortest songs i've heard in my life.
Sak-less were a great way to end a night of Punk mayhem and a great band to look out for in Brighton.

This night shimmered in the essence of what punk is about, direct music, store bought lager and stairway puke. It was also good to rebreak my Hobgoblin gig cherry and I am very much looking forward to what the venue has in-store for Brighton.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Surrounded By Disgust EP Review

Surrounded by Disgust: Self Titled EP
Frantic Promotions
For fans of: Decapitated, Meshuggah, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Beneath The Massacre
Must Hear Track: Take The Helm

Surrounded by disgust hail from South London's Croydon and although this release came out last year it has only just made its way to my hands after an awesome display at The Hydrant in Brighton on the 22nd of October.
This EP is textbook for how a band of this category should promote themselves in this genre of music. With a huge sound and 6 tracks clocking it in at 22 minutes, this EP makes for a true assault on the senses...

Surrounded by Disgust are a huge melting pot of metal genres, with lot's of influences coming apparent throughout the EP. Their style could be considered to lie somewhere between Tech, Progressive and Grindcore making for an interesting and brutal listening experience.
Ryan Dennington's pedal heavy drum style often reminds me of Witold Kiełtyka from Decapitated for his extreme precision and speed mixed with the inhuman grooves of Tomas Haake.
The Guitar players James Hunter and Jamie Johnson similarly take from a wide range of styles, writing huge riffs that bludgeon the listener with technical prowess and aggression.
This coupled with the dual vocal attack of Robin Boyle and Ashley Scott mixes up the conventional approach to Heavy music adding something different to a genre that spawns countless copy cat bands.

The cover in Comic book fashion depicts a terrified man clinging for dear life as he is sucked into the ground or hell? This leaves much to the imagination, a paradox to the countless and now boring covers i've seen of mutilated corpses smeared in faecal matter atop a pyre of burning Virgins. But also, more importantly gives a hint to what the listener is about to experience.

The track names have been approached with a spot of comical value (I hope!) with the first track 'Bitches Belong In The Kitchen' opening the EP with heavy discordant guitar stabs under a huge roar from the vocalist. This quickly propels into a huge groove from the rhythm section as the vocalist spews his filth down the mic. The complicated section changes meld perfectly together and only give the listener a quick breath before the noise of “Don't tell the Lord” begins. This drumming and At the Gates style riffing really unease the listener before the another savage vocal delivery takes you to the next track.

Take the Helm, for me this is the strongest track of the album (and featured on Terrorizer Magazine's January CD). This track I believe to sum up what this bands about. Blinding riffery, discordance, weird guitar noises a la Gojira and a power groove at the end that practically removed my testicles.
Shit the Bed and Donkey Punch is where the influences start to diverge, and opens with a balls to the floor like attitude taking us into another Meshuggah like groove that this band execute so effortlessly.
Death Is the Beginning is the longest track of the EP and really ensures the listener what they are about. This track ends with one of the dirtiest of schizophrenic riffs of the album and finishes with one last grunt leaving you in silence to try and figure out what's just happened!
Unfortunately other than the song names suggest I have no idea what they're talking about, but do I care? No.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Production here, as with many unsigned bands it can always be a bit of a gamble as to whether or not you would actually want to listen to it once you get home. But SBD have clearly put in the Studio Time and an EP only sounds this good when a band know exactly what they want and what they are doing.
The drum kit sounds huge, with the kick drum in particular blending extremely well with the guitars and bass propelling the listener from track to track.
The guitar players also know a thing or two about tone, keeping every note distinctive as often drop tuned riffs can be easily lost in a mix.
The vocals here are extremely well defined with some truly disturbing growls and screams. This is refreshing as all too many an act fail to impress with almost emasculating shrieks.

It is a big pleasure to hear such Heavy music coming out so near my home town, where Chav trump the Metal community making their collectively numbers shown and voices heard outside every major fast food outlet and sporting brand shop along the high-street. It is for this reason that I can relate to why the band members are surrounded by disgust.
If this is how good SBD can make their EP sound, then I am looking forward to what they will do on a full length album.


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