Queues outside of hardcore shows are practically unheard of, but an hour before doors and there’s already hordes of people lining up around The Underworld in London tonight for one of the biggest band its genre right now, Terror.
While a lot of bands fall into the ‘generic’ category attempting this seemingly fashionable sound of stripped-down New York hardcore, this isn’t a worry for Long Island’s Backtrack as they unleash their fresh spin on things – in the vein of Madball and Killing Time – setting the night off with Deal With The Devil. With Terror vocalist Scott Vogel later professing they’re his “current jam”, it’s clear to understand why, and the general consensus seems mutual, as kids stomp their set away.
California’s Lionheart do a good job of keeping the momentum flowing; their more metallic brand of hardcore kicks in leaps and bounds with lashings of double-bass pedals and off-the-wall riffage. Brother’s Keeper proves an emotional but relentless twist, whilst Pure Anger dishes out flailing limbs left, right and centre. The band are spot on sound wise, and pull a great set out of the bag, finishing on the punishing This Is Who I Am. More of the same, please!
First Blood don’t fare quite as well; the energy is still there, the windmills and axe-kicks present, but frontman Carl Schwartz‘s vocals seem to be suffering and the band as a whole sound a little sluggish tonight as a result. With the band’s new album only recently released, many aren’t too aware of more recent material, but old classic namesake track First Blood kicks in with a vengeance and tears the room completely in two. Could be better, but it’s warmed the pool up nicely for the main event.
Ding, ding, it’s non-stop calamity from the off as hardcore heavyweights Terror get under way. It’s hard. It’s brash. It’s in your face. On your face. Smashing your face. And pretty much everything you should expect from a Terror show, and more, as Scott Vogel rounds troops up for a 19-song stage diving spectacular. All the classics are here, from the empowering Overcome to the face-busting Out of My Face mixed with an appeasing selection from arguably their best release to date, Keepers of The Faith, thrashing out new favourite Stick Tight and rounding the bruising night off with the title track, attracting an uncountable amount of flailing bodies. After tonight’s performance, there’s no doubt about it that this band is the real deal and backbone of hardcore in 2011.
– Faye Turnbull (Backtrack, Terror) & George Cannings (Lionheart, First Blood).