Support: Brass Tongue, wars, Last Hounds
When: 10th November 2015
Where: The Rainbow, Birmingham
Reviewed By: Jamie Kerr
Photography By: Jamie Kerr
It's very rare that I turn up to a show and know what to expect from the headliners. In fact I'm particularly envious of any first timers that have no idea of what to expect from headline act HECK. However on that basis, I'm not envious of any band that has to share a stage with them....
In typical fashion I wasn't down early enough to see opening act Brass Tongue but I did make it in time to see Last Hounds. It wasn't the greatest performance I've ever seen, with rather monotone vocals and a few timing issues sticking out, but they're clearly a young band trying to make a name for themselves so I'll refrain from picking apart their performance. Their vocalist did his best to interact with the crowd and not being stuck on stage which was a nice touch.
The same can't be said for wars. I knew nothing of them beforehand but judging from the number of people sporting t-shirts with their name on I figured they would have something about them. They were a real surprise, delivering a highly engrossing and slick performance. Their sound was reminiscent of the ambient intensity of Devil Sold His Soul, combined with the brutality of Every Time I Die and the melody of Alexisonfire. They didn't need loads of energy to make a good impression, their songs just sound really really good. A highly impressive performance from a band that are worth checking out.
Tonight's headliners need no introduction, especially as I reviewed them last time they were in town about a year ago. It's worth noting that for those of you who aren't aware, HECK used to be more commonly known as Baby Godzilla but had to change their name once they were threatened with a lawsuit. But whatever their name, they're still very much the same band famous for their ferocious live shows.
Once all the guitar feedback has died down, the chaos kicks off with At The Oche with everyone bar the drummer making their way into the middle of the room with mic stands. The next thirty minutes or so consisted of lots of screaming, thrashing around, getting intimate with the crowd and just general merriment. The intimacy is a delight to witness and be included in, with Matt at one point grabbing my head resulting in us screaming in each other's faces. The willingness to get involved with all those that turn out to see them are what keep fans like myself turning out every time they're in town, each show is predictable yet somehow unique at the same time.
New single The Breakers sounded every bit as chaotic live as it does on record. Whilst it doesn't deviate from their current sound, it does fit in perfectly with classics The Great Hardcore Swindle and Powerboat Disaster, both of which whip the crowd into a frenzy. The only downside was that the small basement room didn't allow for HECK to be very creative with their surroundings, however this is by no means their fault and does not take away from the fact that it was still a hell of a fun way to spend a Tuesday evening.
If you haven't already seen them, I wholeheartedly suggest you do so. You don't even have to like their music, you just have to be up for having a fucking good laugh