Cruel Minded Hardcore just pulled off a show with the best Scottish lineup 2016 has seen so far. For anyone with even a passing interest in local hardcore, a bill featuring Revolve, Eternal War, Riot Conduct, Deceit, Mercy, Adjust, and Revulsion needs no introduction. And it lives up to the sum of its parts: a real celebration of one of the most vibrant, creative, and energetic scenes in the country, if not hardcore worldwide!
Revolve kick off proceedings with a massive, high-energy set, which threatens to mark them as the band of the night from the very first note. Their kinetic brand of crossover hardcore has seen them rise to the position of one of the strongest names in Scottish heavy music, despite bursting onto the scene less than a year ago. And tonight it’s not hard to see why – the low-end is thunderous and groovy, their frontman ferocious and captivating, and the sheer power of their guitarist is something you really need to hear live to believe.
Another relatively new band which have firmly cemented themselves in the local scene are Eternal War. Their nineties-metalcore-influenced sound creates a darker mood than Revolve and opens up the first serious pits of the evening. Eternal War’s set bristles with aggression and is delivered with absolute conviction – no small feat considering 3/5 of their lineup have just been on tour with crossover heroes Kingpin. While the band joke that they’re ready to collapse after their set, the crowd are now fully riled and ready to go.
It’s just as well that Riot Conduct are up next, then. The freshest faces on tonight’s bill, their brand of old-school hardcore goes down an absolute storm. Taking cues from the eighties New York scene, Riot Conduct bring together elements of the likes of Madball and Outburst, stomping them into a unique, euphoric sound that is so full of energy it struggles to be contained in such a small venue. It’s the stuff of those grainy home videos of Sick Of It All and Agnostic Front ripping apart pub basements, but, if anything, this feels a lot more fun.
For almost any other band Riot Conduct would be a tough act to follow, but Deceit do a stellar job of maintaining the energy levels in the room with their riff-fuelled, nineties-style hardcore. Bringing together a range of influences from groups as diverse as Incendiary, Unbroken, and Rage Against The Machine, Deceit have a range of textures to play with. These really shine through on the new tracks they’re airing tonight (a short, crossover bass solo being a real highlight), but they never undermine the strength of the band’s own infectious sound.
Maintaining the eclectic tone are Mercy: a late but very welcome addition to tonight’s bill. Their self-styled ‘grunge hardcore’ is an absolute treat live: simultaneously heavy and melodic, energetic and melancholic, and full of vocal and guitar hooks that ensure that their tracks stay wedged in your head for days. Mercy are one of the most unique voices in Scottish heavy music, and with shows like tonight’s they’re set for very big things.
The next surprise set of the night comes from Stirling hardcore heroes Adjust. Considering the strength of their sound and shows, Adjust don’t play nearly as often as they should, so this is a real treat for all involved. Their set is big, anthemic, and crackles with aggressive energy: personified by their indomitable frontman. The violent atmosphere in the room reaches its crescendo with a K.O. in the pit (don’t worry, the guy came round in the ambulance, got his ear glued back together, and was back down the front for Revulsion): testament to the riot-inciting potential of an Adjust set. Here’s hoping it’s not too long until the next one.
The stage is set for the mighty Revulsion. They’re more than worthy headliners tonight, not least due to their rising prominence on the European circuit – a position fully justified by this evening’s performance. Their sound is a brilliant blend of metal and hardcore, bringing together the very best elements of each genre. The riffs are titanic, the low end relentless, and the roars from their frontman nothing less than monstrous. It’s nuanced and groovy enough to really captivate the most pretentious metal elitists, but furious enough to make even The Dude want to punch a wall. The new tracks aired tonight are further affirmation, if any were needed, of their talent as songwriters: massive, bold anthems, dripping with enough power and menace to terrify anyone stupid enough to stand in their path. Revulsion are the culmination of everything that’s great about tonight, and the Scottish heavy scene as a whole, and are poised for iron-fisted global domination.