In a little room at the back of The Stag’s Head, Hoxton, a lot of noise and energy was being produced. Rock Solid Promotions had put together one hell of a lineup where four underground hardcore bands tore a hole in the venue (literally at one point) as Today, They Are Older and Time For Energy continued their current UK and France tour. Tonight they were joined by MTXS and Bury the Light.
Cambridge-based Bury the Light opened proceedings, giving people a bit of time to warm up and finish their pints before cranking up the intensity with their track “Sunstroker”, the title track of their recent EP. The set featured plenty of drops, which is what people wanted to hear, leading to a lot of instinctive movement from the crowd. Prior to that, the frontman made his intentions known by bouncing on stage, so hard in fact that his foot went right through it! That’s a lot of energy!
Finishing their set with “Deadweight” seemed like a good choice. It had a slightly slower intro to give people a bit of a breather before the band threw down some vicious hardcore riffs. The frontman got down in the pit for one section which resulted in a split lip as fans threw themselves towards the mic to practice some guttural bellows of their own. Great way to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Next we had a group of masked faced men representing the South East, MTXS. Opening with “Cover Your Face”, the raw aggression and anger was pretty clear form the offset. The crowd was ready for this as it didn’t take long for elbows to start flying. I kept my distance as I didn’t fancy having one of those elbows going through the front element of my camera lens, even the frontman, Paul, was keen to get involved, seemingly spending half the set on the ground with the rest of us.
At times fans were handed the mic to scream as the front man let off some steam in the pit. Things went further into the ‘brutal’ realms when the band played “Hate”. Shirts came off, the basslines became more frantic and the pit became more vicious. Sweat, beer and angst was thrown everywhere for the rest of the set as the band continued to give 110% throughout.
Darwen-based Today, They Are Older were now on the fourth date of the current tour with Time for Energy. With a pedal board so large the guitarist had to spend a lot of the gig in front of the stage, TTAO began their set and seemed a bit calmer at first. There was a focus on some well crafted music in many of their numbers, adding a bit of depth to the majority of the songs played. At one point they had another vocalist step up for one number which gave a touch of variety in the set. I liked the piano interludes from vocalist/keyboard player, Liam Corran, and how the occasional number had a bit of progression, building to big crescendos as songs grew into bigger, heavier sounds as they went on.
Of course, It wasn’t long until the relative calm was shattered as their number “Pretty Maid Marion” pumped up the adrenaline and aggression to rile the fans up a bit. All members, bar the drummer, Graham Aspinall, were in and out of the crowd, (I’m sure drummer he would have been in there too if he could). The chaotic rhythm changes were great and the band sounded pretty tight, which is quite important when shifting time signatures and tempos as rapidly and often as TTAO did. Good stuff.
To cap off what had been a heavy and sweaty evening in Hoxton, we were treated to French hardcore band Time for Energy. Playing songs from their 2017 album, Time for Energy really went for it. The pit took a bit of warming up, but once the band started “Lovebug” quickly followed by probably the most aggressive track on the album, “Prick”, the fans responded strong and the momentum stayed for the rest of the set as the room went through whatever reserves of energy they had left after such a heavy lineup.
I’m a big fan of guitar solos, and these guys had a few in there that I really liked, especially the breakdown in the title track from the album Gang of Losers. Frontman Antonin was putting in one hell of a shift as his screaming vocals blasted through the PA at The Stag’s Head, at times standing on the bass drum and screaming his lungs out. A great amount of energy, and after a quick photo op we had time for one more song, which featured a huge sounding drum sample to really end on a strong note.
Photos by ShotIsOn Media