Fucked Up & Titus Andronicus @ The Electric Ballroom

30th May 2013 @ The Electric Ballroom

A trio of North American acts packed tonight’s bill, all sharing a loose punk connection. It certainly provided a varied night of guitar driven energy.

Canadians Metz occupy the punk spectrum labeled, “I don’t care what you think we sound like…because we like it, and you can lump it!”. With barely any regards to their aural chainsaw guitar attack the profusely sweating front man blasted distorted guitars with no remorse. This was unrelenting and aggressive music making, with the faintly audible screams of probably very decent songs  resonating deep inside, desperately failing to escape. Not for the faint hearted, one for the hard of hearing.

Metz

Metz

The American meat in the lineup’s Canadian sandwich shuffled out, totally unassuming as they tooled up. These guys I had all but written off. As much as I liked their latest LP, I never took to it for a repeat spin beyond a catchy ditty or two. Still, there’s nothing like a good live outing to show me where I’m wrong. Titus Andronicus play melodic rock which doffs it’s cap to Americana through a technical triple guitar attack of multi-melody madness. These weaving guitar lines were not effect heavy but still powerful while occasionally mimicked tin whistle style familiar Americanish marching melodies.

Titus Andronicus (1)

Titus Andronicus

Epic crescendo’s were the general result of the meandering which were lively and resulted in many man turning to their friends partners stating ‘I’ll be back soon’ as they dashed stage wards for some jumping about lunacy. Yet Fans far back were happy reciting these terribly verbose lyrics and the non-simple chorus lines were seemingly rolling off everyone’s tongues right back at front man Patrick Stickles. Oddly he casts a rather Rich Hall shadow in both appearance and vocal delivery. The latter Dour and grumpy with a hint of irony and alcohol. The casual listener would have no clue what he was warbling, but that mattered none! These danceable toe tapping tunes turned on the smile machines which really captivated me in a shared wave of euphoria emanating from the buzzing overexcited masses of onlookers. A brilliant set which totally took me by surprise!

Now after Titus came the Fucked Up crew, trying to earn their headliner stripes this night. Sad to say they failed.Fucked Up

Fucked Up

Although a large portion of the crowd would disagree as this was clearly one for the ‘hardcore’ hardcore punk fans as the hugged their sweaty frontman hero Damian Abraham, all set long and bounced around like supercharged pin balls. But while I’m all for singers to come down on the level of the fans, after spending the whole set hanging over the guard rail it gets kind of irritating as you a) can’t see them b) vocals are interrupted by mic passes to enthused fans, c) you lose the band ethic! (although it’s not like ‘singing’ in it’s truest sense was really ever on the cards here.)

Attitude was ever present though as the vocalist made multiple jaunts amongt the crowd, spitting vocals like a venomous rattler.

Musically though, something was missing. The much revered melodic elements and complex arranges were lost in the crashing waves of energetic guitar onslaught. The static band was at opposites with their absent front man which is not surprising really. Their attire was vastly at odds too with the slimline clean cut blue collar band and the rough unkempt half naked punk singer. A juxtaposition if ever they stood near each other.

Fucked Up (1)

The crowd provide a host of entertainment. A guy doing a blocker lemming impression, a stoned/drunk wobbler trying is best to stay vertical and a arm sling bearing chick smashing into the mosh pit!

Titus ruled the night, a sublime show of top notch rawkus energy nonetheless

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