Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, October 20, 2013

All the D's at RockD for a Hardcore, punked up dance around party

SATURDAY night (October 19th) at The Distortion Project was a hardcore, punked up, metal assault from three bands that were determined that you either get with the game plan or get the hell out of dodge.

Drawing a healthy early evening crowd of misfits and malcontents to Limelight2 the normal rock and metal crew stood aside for a change to see what mayhem the night could bring once the hardcore kids took to the stage... sometimes not a promising prospect, but as always Mr Loveday's project had nicely balanced out the night's throwdown.

Opening the line-up, for their first ever gig, were Defyed; and judging by friends and fans gathered there is a healthy future for the band. A constant stream of invective from Wayne - who picked out Edwin Poots (Northern Ireland's Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety)- for an attack and generally painted a bleak landscape.

Tight at the backline with Kieran and Steve anchoring the sound for the band, Gav and Trev laid down an incessant barrage of riffs. Where the band need to consider developing is a variation in the guitars - if you have two guitars there's no need to forever try to follow each other. Wayne, on the other hand needs to move more; get with the programme, develop stage presence to complement the rich growling vocals; and, dominate proceedings.

Having said all that, this was an impressive d├ębut; there is definite promise burbling away here once you strip away the aural overload.

The Steady Decline got off to a weird start, with one of the guitarists taking both mic stand, backing mic and himself down on to the 'dance floor'. Totally removing himself from the monitor speakers may seem like some sort of hardcore 'statement' but all it does is provide a disconnect with the rest of the band. [And what is it with hardcore bands that various members feel the need to get off the stage meaning half those present can't see them?]

The first 15 minutes also saw a disconnect between the rhythm section, with the bassist at times glancing at the drummer, who at times seemed more intent on double bass flourishes than coming in on one exactly.

The second half of the set saw this tighten up, and once it did the fluidity - from which the band's potential is clear - came through. This is band that has the chops, but need to spend more time in the rehearsal room; hone the skills as if each practice is a live set; analyse where there can be improvement, and it will come.

Then - ahh the halcyon days of punk! When Belfast was buzzing with the spirit of defiance; when Rufrex, Outcasts and SLF, to name but a few, cast a cynical eye upon the tired deficiencies of a society ripping itself apart.

There is no doubt that Divisions draw heavily on the punk of yesteryear, but also bring it bang up to date. At the age of this wizened reviewer there is a vague memory of all the earlier acts keeping melody lurking somewhere in the mix., but Divisions have brought the west Coast US influences together with some of the English punk bands that emerged in the early 80s.

Incorporating some hardcore and metal into the melting pot produced a varied and vicious vacuum of noise, somehow sucking listeners into the maelstrom.

By rounding up the set with increasing ferocity it shows that almost two years of preparation has paid off for Divisions; and with fans already knowing much of what was being played there is a healthy promise of more gigging for Divisions: all in all a fine way to round up what was - and you rarely will hear this - an enjoyable evening of hardcore...

Only niggle of the night was the draft beer all but ran out; buy the one one barman on duty managed to keep his cool juggling a multiplicity of demands upon his time. 

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