Monday, 14 February 2011

Hollywood Tease / Betrayal / The Innocent Kill @ The Underground Friday 11th February 2011

Review by Jake Carter

Photo by Martin Kaluza

I knew that reviewing last night’s gig at the Underground would be a little different than usual for me. I’m not really into heavy rock, or metal or however you want to label it, and I haven’t listened to or heard these bands before. So, with that being said, I decided that the best thing would be to turn up with an open mind and let the night’s music corrupt my innocent little brain.

The Innocent Kill were a great start to the night and certainly know how to demand everybody’s attention. They were solid and the singer was fantastic; whilst screaming down the mic I thought if Axl Rose was from Stoke, maybe, just maybe this is how he would sound. The use of a megaphone also provided a lovely touch and added to the dynamics of the music quite nicely. This is the kind of band you need to get a good gig off the ground, with every member competently playing their part. I’d like to see this newish band move up the musical ranks a little more, as they’re certainly tight enough to do so.

Next up were Betrayal who were a little less cheerful than their predecessors and the sound was more or less a constant drone. I found my attention wondering off to other places during their set and I think I just stared at the wall, or the floor, or maybe it was the band after all I was looking at. Either way, it wouldn’t have made much difference to be honest and the highlight of their set was a cover of Slipknot’s ‘Duality’, which was alright. I appreciate that some people like finding themselves in a loud hazy state, but for me Betrayal didn’t do enough to keep me focused on their performance.

Now then, like I mentioned earlier I decided to go last night’s gig with an open mind considering this kind of music doesn’t usually tickle my fancy, and I didn’t really know how I’d be left feeling if I’m honest. But, as soon as I heard Samuel L Jackson’s “The path of the righteous man” speech from Pulp Fiction crackling over the speakers, I knew Hollywood Tease were going to make my night.

Right from the very first song these boys were in your face demanding your attention, whether it was from the way they looked, the way they sounded or the way every member totally owned the stage, stomping around pushing themselves and their instruments as far as they possibly could. This is how bands should be. This is how bands should work. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re into: a band with this much vigour sets the bar for everyone.

Obviously, stage presence is a big part of Hollywood Tease, but it takes more than just stage presence to provide a great show. Luckily for us they know their way around their instruments too. Each member provided his own distinct and essential part to the sound and singer, Ashe Masters, has one hell of a voice; no muffling or pops, just pure power cutting above the mix which was especially apparent on ‘Let Go’.

It was great to see such a powerful and exhilarating performance from a band, and to see the members feeding from each other’s gleaming energy. It was also great to experience one of the most amazing mid-set drum solos ever. I mean, I was impressed with the drum solo anyway, but halfway through the drummer’s owner seemed to seamlessly change, with the original solo starter standing next to the kit whilst another member carried on banging the drums. How? I don’t know. I was confused. Very confused.

The sound and performance that came from Hollywood Tease last night was non other than top notch. The atmosphere at the Underground was good and I doubt there was anybody in there who wasn’t excited by their blistering sound. Even for the non-rock/metal heads out there, I’d recommend this band, and as for the actual metal heads, well, you have no excuse. Drop by next time they’re around.

Final verdict: brain corrupted.

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