Live Review: The Casino Brawl – Independent, Sunderland, August 3rd 2009

casino1The Casino Brawl make the stop home for a show in Sunderland tonight during their jaunt around the UK. Considering the usual crowds turning out for their shows, especially just 30-minutes away in Newcastle, it’s somewhat disheartening at the turnout tonight, around 40 or 50 people.

Nonetheless, north-east post-hardcore-ish outfit Kaikoura start the night off; about 15 disinterested punters gather round, but it doesn’t stop the band delivering a very energetic set to say the least. While sound wise, they sound messy and somewhat undecipherable at times tonight, they do show great promise and some great tunes. Don’t Be Scared sounds very much like We Are The Ocean, and has a real quality to it accompanied by excellent singing, and all in all a great start to the evening.

South Wales’ Eleventh Apparition positively destroy all who bother to take note. Their duet wrecking crew of a vocal team both have brilliant voices and it really shows. They play heavy and fast metalcore which can only be compared to the likes of German titans Caliban. They throw out a near-perfect melody/brutality sound, with some blinding screams and some really good singing, with a lot of crushing breakdowns and double bass pedalling. Even a slightly bigger crowd might of gotten into this, it’s amazing how only a light patter of applause greets the band after each song when it could and should be so much more.

For a hometown show, tonight is criminal. The Casino Brawl take to the stage to what in all honesty should be jam-packed. Across the water in Newcastle, this would be a couple of hundred kids going crazy, but tonight puts The Brawl in a different territory and it’s almost like watching a private set; the barrage of bodies nowhere to be found. The resulting performance is incredible. The band burst into new track L is For Liars and straight away you can tell the attendance won’t deter them. Into The Light sounds massive once again, and the five-piece are really heroically firing on all cylinders tonight. Guitarist Adam Ridley’s lead parts are played to perfection throughout, in the midst of a spot of nicely executed crab-core movement, while Jonny Ferguson barks, sings, and everything in between brilliantly. They sweat it out through new tracks like XXXVI and Time and Tide, which sound positively awesome amongst old EP Tracks like Save Yourself From The Gates Of Hell. It’s crunching and very loud, and what’s here of Sunderland tonight have witnessed a treat; The Brawl have survived a tough hometown show, and they’ve done it with style – a fantastic performance.

George.

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