Sunday 17 November 2013

Live Review : "Campaign for Elimination", Esoteric Youth/Blind To Faith/Nails @ The Star and Garter, Manchester, UK, 16/11/2013

By: Aaron Pickford

A cold autumn evening in November and with Guy Fawkes Night a distant memory now and with my 9-5 done for another day, I’ve been dealt the hottest ticket in the land, NAILS much touted UK shows. Admittedly only a short drive from Sheffield to Manchester, I often lack the motivation to venture out after dark, however following reliable Intel that NAILS tore Glasgow a new one the previous night. That was the only persuasion I need to make the trip. Destination, the Star and Garter, Manchester, UK

Let the Campaign for Elimination commence. Kicking off proceedings this evening, were local blackened hardcore miscreants, ESOTERIC YOUTH. Whilst having not heard these guys, they do not disappoint, front man 

Dom Moss prowling the stage like a demented serial killer, battering the crowd with his vicious vocal assault. Musically, we are served with staccato guitars, scything riffs which follow no obvious pattern, backed up by a tight rhythm section. Whilst I cannot fault the execution and delivery of their set, at times, the sound suffered in the mix and this in turn affected the overall quality of their show. ESOTERIC YOUTH are certainly ones to watch and based on what I observed, I’ll certainly be hunting down their source material for closer inspection.

Up next is Benelux brawlers, BLIND TO FAITH. Indeed with an awesome back drop on display, it is clear that these guys are schooled in misanthropic aural disdain. Following EYBLIND TO FAITH translates an altogether different vibe; there is a confidence there and intent to bash in your head with their d-beat rituals. Armed with their recent release “Under The Heptagram”, BLIND TO FAITH, play an absolute blinder, dual guitars are thick and snarling, ranging from frenetic pacing of d-beat hardcore, to slow brooding doom at times, musically speaking these guys just tear it up. The crowd initially appeared to be virgins at the graduate ball, afraid of taking their first step on the dance floor, however with their infusion of crushing Celtic Frost meets Entombed riffs and menacing hardcore anger, they were soon won over. I was totally sold on this performance and on the strength of this show alone, their Full Length debut and “Under The Heptagram” were purchased by said reviewer, so great work guys, you totally kicked my arse.

Listening to the absent minded circus freaks on so called talent shows of today, frankly makes fans of the ‘heavy’ wanna puke. It does me, anyhow. Take note assholes and listen to Todd Jones, “We have to be here” “We have been waiting to play Manchester a long time” that is sincerity people and he has the biggest set of brass cojones to back it up. Enter stage right, I give you NAILS.

Having hit the road in support of their phenomenal record “Abandon All life”NAILS unleash violence upon the masses tonight, the venue is sold out and the on looking crowd lap it up with a black tooth grin.

Tight, razor sharp and frankly chaotic, NAILS make no excuse that their music is not for the faint of heart, oh yes there will be blood and indeed that is what is spilled. From the very first note of their set, the pit is open and the fists start flying. Frankly the show up at close quarters gets violent, such is the virulence of the band’s display. Infecting us with their nucleonic blast beats, lacerating guitar and pissed off vocals, the NAILS experience is bitterly hostile, with just the right dose of harshness added for good measure.

I was not there in the heady heyday of the US hardcore scene and yet for some reason NAILS performance reminds me of that, Todd Jones looking like a demented Henry Rollins, projecting a sense of menace and yet he is genuine and sincere during his interaction with the crowd. Their performance was toxic, obnoxious and just fucking nuts, and we the crowd loved it. A vulgar display of power indeed. To coin of phrase from our man, Fitton, Nails are and were the second coming of awesome, a molten lava of hate and we loved every minute of it.