Leading the charge were Adelaide hardcore band, Search and Destroy. With the release of their debut 7 inch, Eye of Terror, Search and Destroy have gone from strength to strength in the local scene, bringing the support of local punters and Suppression Records to the table and throwing it all down with some rough riffs and guttural growls from the band (and a few lucky fans at the rail!) from the very first song. If the success of their debut EP was judged on punters, I’d say the Eye of Terror is tracking you’ll want to keep your eye on –available to fans for just a few months so far (and in their online store via http://searchanddestroy.bigcartel.com/), songs were already sung, roared and jumped along to throughout the set. The intensity of the music and the local boys who made it has proved that Search and Destroy will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Added weight to the show, The Weight, another band hailing from the City of Churches flew on stage and into the second slot for the night, opening with brutal tuning that channelled old school Slayer, with some hardcore riffs and a guttural scream thrown in for good measure. The Weight are the real deal and they’re not afraid to show it. Entering the scene in 2008, they’ve been playing shows and releasing music online and in demos for a straight four years, picking up a guitarist along the way to solidify their unit. Their debut album is due for release next month, and with a few previews of songs, as well as few fan favourites off the demo, they kept the crowd screaming for more.
For anyone who thinks the role of the bassist is gone and forgotten in music of today, they haven’t experienced a live hardcore show like that of Friday night. On the stage, the energy from the bassists was almost equal to the singers and if there was something to prove, the bassists of Search and Destroy and The Weight gave it their all. Rounding up near the end of their set, the bassist of The Weight added to the drumline, pounding knuckles against the body of his guitar to the beat as feet and fists rose in the air, bringing them closer to the punters and carrying forward the energy of the night.
Dubbed by many as the next big thing in Australian hardcore, Iron Mind took to the stage next and gave Adelaide a serve of the raw, rhythmic display of power (and flesh if you were lead singer, Sam Octigan in a ballsy move that set a number of caps and shirts flying off in the mosh), showing why Melbourne hardcore is well respected in the scene. Hammering out songs off their LP, Hell Split Wide Open (available at http://ironmind.bigcartel.com/product/hell-split-wide-open-gatefold-12-lp), Iron Mind mirrored their fans, tearing up the stage and not missing a beat in an impressive and remarkably familiar spectacle of showmanship that begged the question of whether their instruments were in fact instruments and not simply extra body parts that were permanently attached to their owners (looking at the artwork of Hell Split Wide Open, it seems like Octigan was born with a mic in one hand and a paint brush in the other – more of his work is available for public viewing at http://www.samoctigan.com/). With a cry of ‘move up, move in, move out’, Octigan kept the energy of the show at an all time high before making way for the hardcore legends and Keepers of the Faith that everyone was waiting for – Terror.
With just under half a dozen tours in Australia up their tattooed sleeves already and a decade of touring and releasing music worldwide since their formation in 2002, Terror commands attention before ex Buried Alive and Despair frontman, Scott Vogel even opens his mouth with the call of “everybody better fucking move”. There’s not an “or else” that follows, but it’s not hard to imagine. Vogel’s reputation of psyching up and urging on his loyal fans precedes him with a website now solely dedicated to his figures of speech (view it at http://vogelisms.com/); every instruction he spits is followed, every supportive, rousing speech is met with steadfast fists and the pounding of feet and cheering – a metalcore army in the making. Everybody moves; somehow the stage takes the load of a couple hundred pounds of all-American muscle while the rail, put up for the protection of the lightweight and female punters because hardcore doesn’t discriminate, takes a vicious beating from energetic fan and vigilante security alike. After all, in Vogel’s own words, the rail is just a mental barricade – only we, the fans can get rid of it. We try. The crowd interaction is just what the doctor ordered. Feeding off the electricity of everybody’s blood, sweat and tears, Terror launched into the highlights of their albums, electing fan favourites like Stick Tight, Keepers of the Faith, You’re Caught, Never Alone and One With the Underdogs. There is no time for more. Vogel admits they could try and fit in all their discography into the set – all 74 songs, and he’s met with roars of approval, but this is a fast paced hardcore show that takes no prisoners but for a few hours that leave you aching for the next tour. But they’ll be back, that much Terror can promise; they may be thought of as rock and roll legends, but they care – they give a fuck and if you believe in Terror and the music they create, they’re in it for you, 110 percent.
The hardcore genre and bands that carry it forward offer no alternative – they are what they are, no bullshit, no pretence, no toeing the line of what’s conventional or allowed. And if you take it for what it is – a barrage of strength, loyalty and fury in both music and musician, then it will embrace you with open arms as big and wide as Scott Vogel’s with a ‘welcome home, brothers and sisters’.
Review: Becca Grant.
Photo: Sofie Marsden (Death In Vogue Photos)