This split from Pizzatramp, Grand Collapse, The Domestics, Guilt Police, Wolfbeast Destroyer and Rash Decisions proves that the UK hardcore scene is still very much alive, well and kicking the shit out of music with its size 12 boots.
Growing up as a kid in the ’80s was a great thing. It was very much the golden era of hardcore and saw the D.I.Y. ethic, that had grown up around punk in the late ’70s, expand into interesting areas, particularly the rise of the split release.
Split releases allowed bands and labels to co-operate on co-releases that spread costs while also introducing bands to each other’s fan bases. Some of these split releases have become legendary artefacts of the scene at the time: the Chaos UK/Extreme Noise Terror Earslaughter release still remains, for many, the best document for each band. Split releases, such as the Heresy/Concrete Sox release, paved the way for Earache Records and, perhaps a harder to find and more esoteric release was the 4-way Japanese hardcore beast that combined Outo, Gauze, Lipcream and Systematic Death.
The main reason I relocated to Manchester was the luxury of having fantastic punk rock shows right on your doorstep, every single weekend. This particular gig, held at Fuel Cafe in Withington is a stone’s throw from my house, and is therefore the shortest distance I’ve had to travel to see bands since I lived on Camden High Street a decade ago. I’m living the dream.
MBBP have a reputation for putting on raucous live shows, always trying to pack six or more acts onto a short bill. It’s incredibly exciting to see a variety of hardcore punk bands from around the country playing tonight, including Welsh acts Habits and Social Experiment plus Yorkshire’s Pat Butcher and Satanic Malfunctions. The highlights of the line-up are reliably ferocious East Anglian act The Domestics and esoteric Spanish foursome Ill Guerra.
The room upstairs at Fuel is an unusual venue space: it’s a small room divided by an archway, with a stage painted with black and white zigzags. The night begins oddly, with Habits closing the windows and drawing the sumptuous red velvet curtains behind them to kick things off, like the band haev suddenly been transplanted onto the red room set of Twin Peaks.
Habits are a band that I would happily watch headline. They play dark, furious post-hardcore, buoyed by a lot of lush guitar tones and stormy chord changes. It’s like More Than Life, Have Heart and Defeater had a Welsh DIY baby. Nosebleed begins with a solid moody section but mutates suddenly into a much harder-rocking tune, before descending into a frantic, drawn out breakdown. Work is an indignant polemic, although the sound is ultimately positive. Other songs drift through themes of jealousy, sex and drinking yourself to death. The singer introduces each song by name and a brief explanation of the subject manner, which is super-handy for note-taking twats like me. Continue reading “Gig Review: Ill Guerra & The Domestics @ Fuel Cafe [10/03/2018]”