Monday, 14 February 2011

Tears of Isharra / For Eyes / Below the Depths @ The Sugarmill 13th February 2001

Review by Matthew Tilt

For fucks sake, I’m 20, I’m not meant to feel like the oldest person in the room, but as the room slowly fills with scene kids in jeans wrapped tighter round their legs than my fist round my wallet when the bill comes, it becomes clear that I’m part of minority of those old enough to go to the bar. None of this helps my apprehension about tonight, a showcase for local deathcore boys Tears of Isharra.

Openers Below the Depths walk on stage to a decent reception, clearly having a good fanbase in the area, and they kick things off with some fairly simple deathcore. The crowd eat it up, starting to move early, and this seems to give Gregg more confidence as he screams his way across the stage demanding more pits from the baying crowd. It’s not particularly original and, when the awful sound allows some guitar to break the wall of drum and bass, for each song a new riff seems to have been stolen, but they have the potential to build on.

Their cover of Far East Movement’s Like a G6 is daft, but you can’t deny that it’s fun when the whole room is bouncing along, and the whole set is filled with promise. In fact, despite the generic nature of it there are only a few down points; like the overuse of echo effects or the spoken word section that steals credibility from one of the faster and more rounded tracks. Not that the crowd care as they continue to scream the words, and feed the fire underneath the band.

Hardcore four piece For Eyes receive a much more cautious crowd, but it doesn’t take long for their raucous style to win them over. Vocalist Dan Kenny immediately jumps into the crowd, where he spends the majority of the set, while the rest of the band attack the crowd with chaotic, southern rock influenced, hardcore.

In between their short, sharp blasts they’re self deprecating, pushing the crowd more by pretending they don’t give a shit. The whole set moves towards the weird and wonderful, as Dan gets an audience member to hold his mike while he plays the mouth organ before breaking into a brilliantly dark and slowed down track, and then spends the remaining time climbing across the venue, grabbing audience members and inciting pits, before him and guitarist Jack grab a mike each and scream their way through a monstrous breakdown at the end. Without a doubt the band that people will be talking about at the end.

After that the excitement is at fever pitch for the headliners, trancecore boys Tears of Isharra, who come on stage to a rapturous response and soon get the crowd moving with a brilliant dance beat. Then it all goes downhill, leave your brain at the door as all that’s on offer is beatdowns galore. Chris Ball’s weak screams are taken straight from Bring Me the Horizon’s latest album, and the odd recent roar can’t make up for this.

Like Below the Depths they suffer from a terrible sound, leaving the already unimpressive set sounding like a distorted mess. Each song is rendered into a wall of noise where the discernable parts are when the overused breakdowns move into overused two step passages, and while this doesn’t stop the crowd for the most part, by the end both the band and the crowd seem drained.

Surprisingly, considering they could have been playing covers all night and it would have been hard to tell, the only actual cover is towards the end of the night and they go on to slaughter Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End by A Day to Remember. It’s a brutally disappointing set from a band that had been built up all night by an over excitable crowd, and while it might not stop the crowd moving, it is a musical fatality to the night.

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