Thursday, April 14, 2016

Robot Company, Fullshore, Smart Casual, Who Saves the Hero? Live at Subside review. 10/4/16

Sometimes I can be pretty hardcore, like going to Subside on a Saturday night, staying out till 4 am, going to to work in the morning and then heading back to Subside later that night. This show was yet another freebie put on by Subside. I'd come to play pool, catch up with friends and see Smart Casual play. Before that though was Robot Company. The Brummie three piece played a mix of frantic screamy post hardcore and slower sad songs. They reminded me vaguely of At The Drive In, and much like At the drive in, their music didn't make much sense to me. They seem to be having fun with it though. 4.8/10.  Fullshore really impressed me with their gently melodic take on post Hardcore/Emo. I loved the subtle melodies in their sound and the use of two guitars. I really enjoyed their songs and was impressed by how well they play together and how good they are despite being such a young band. 6.4/10.
Being a fan of Smart Casual feels a bit like joining some kind of strange cult*. They've gained a small army of dedicated fans. These fans all wear black t shirts with the bands logo on. Their music seems to appeal to a very wide range of people, and there's always a few nutters in a Smart Casual crowd. I had a chat with their drummer/mascot Talbot, (while surrounded by fans in that shirt) who told me about how when they recently first played Wales they already had a load of fans there ready to greet them. The cult seems to be spreading fast. As if to prove a point the bands singer, Colin wore a New Found Glory shirt with 'Pop punk's NOT dead' in big letters on the back. Soon the fans were dancing, moshing about and chanting 'Shut up Talbot!'. Smart Casual's style of pop punk is a bit more punk than pop and has a few hints of classic heavy metal, from their guitarists shredding and Talbot's drumming. Their tunes are uplifting and empowering, such as the epic rant Colin goes into on 'Taking back the power' which is basically about telling, anyone who tells you you're not good enough to fuck off. They've got plenty of choruses and 'whoaahh ohhs!' to sing along to. They finished with a mosh pit educing finale of a Limp Bizkit cover**. I had a lot of fun and for the (very good) price of £8 bought their CD and T shirt and joined the cult myself. 7.6/10

Cardiff's Who saves the hero? (the only band not from Birmingham on the bill) clearly share a bond with Smart Casual after touring together. On stage the two band shared vocals and beers, and clearly had a great time. They were a bit more polished than the bands on before them. A nostalgic mix of pop punk, and emo which happily proves that with the demise of Funeral For a Friend, Wales is still a home to the genre. They've good good tunes, play together really well and had a laid back, self deprecating attitude on stage. 6.0/10

I'd have loved them when I was 14.

*Much like being a fan of the Polyphonic Spree
** Don't know or care which Limp Bizkit song it was

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