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Steadily building its presence over the year with a series of club nights across the UK, with homes set in places like Liverpool and Hull, Deadbolt now holds a few years of success as a top rate club night under their belts. Back in their mothership of Manchester, the first ever Deadbolt Festival comes to life in the city’s multiroom venue that is Sound Control. This could be the beginning of a new big stride for the Deadbolt crew.
TOWERS – 5/10
Taking the helm and priviledge of being the first band at the first ever Deadbolt Festival, Preston’s Towers are one of the few non pop-punk bands performing on the Deadbolt stage today. Despite such an early set, they manage to pull in a notable crowd. Everything seems a little cliche, though. There’s a song about crappy friends, frontman Dan Parry‘s voice at times sounds somewhat raspy and for the final song of their set, guitarist Alex Welch breaks a string and the show goes on with a guitarist down.
SCOUTS – 7/10
Bringing a big splash of grung into their pop-punk a la Basement or even to some extent Decade, Liverpudlian outfit Scouts are definitely ones to watch out for with the ever bubbling grunge revival. Frontman Paul Barrow is sporting bleach blonde hair and grunge-y clothes, much like the genre’s legendary pioneers Nirvana, so it’s more than apt they bring to the table a cover of ‘Territorial Pissings’, and actually manage to pull it off quite well.
BOSTON MANOR – 7/10
Veering off into full throttle pop-punk, five-piece Boston Manor originate from Blackpool, just like Me Vs. Hero, and with sets like these they may be taking the crown as the town’s premium pop-punk export. They’re somewhat The Story So Far-esque, and their pop-punk bounce certainly is starting to see the Deadbolt Festival crowd start to move over at the attic stage. If you’re a pop-punk kid looking for some new talent to tap into, look no further.
MAYCOMB – 6/10
The more melodic sensibitlies of Maycomb‘s pop-rock brings to mind similarities with bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, and frontman Simon McCoy‘s soft voice is certainly a strong point in their set. They crack a few jokes here and there, but ultimately Maycomb come across a little too safe and timid. Sure, no one is expecting crazy flips, but you just can’t help but feel that with just a pinch more of passion, Maycomb could be a far more exciting prospect.
CALLS LANDING – 7/10
Back into wading knee deep in pop-punk, Leeds’ Calls Landing are much like the stage’s previous act Boston Manor, in that they’re another source of underground pop-punk that given the right push will soon be walking shoulder-to-shoulder with the UK’s leading names. Frontman José Armitage carries warmth throughout his vocals, whether he’s aiming for highs or puts some strong fire in his barotone lows. Cuts from their upcoming album points towards a release that’s definitely worth checking out.
SHIELDS – 8/10
After more than an hour long intermission, metalcore favourites to be Shields are set to begin the onslaught of the final few hours of Deadbolt Festival‘s debut year. Within seconds the stage is ramsacked momentarily by some friends of the band bearing shirts with the statement “FUCK SHIELDS”, keeping the ‘feud’ between the band and Lock & Key alive. Joe Edwards‘ shrieking screams are on top form, and on a few occassions we see him lay on the floor whilst he screams his lungs from his throat. With tracks like ‘I Just Feel Hate’ in their catalogue, this is far from the last time we’ll hear from these Londoners.
ROAM – 8/10
Soon to be set as firm heel biters at UK pop-punk forerunners Neck Deep and Me Vs. Hero, Eastbourne’s ROAM pull in one of the biggest crowds that the Deadbolt stage has seen so far today. The quintet are greeted like kings as they bounce around on stage, and a few cuts taken from their latest EP ‘Head Down’ and even a cheeky look into a few new fresher pieces from their forthcoming release. Provided they don’t deviate, ROAM are on the path to certain to success.
GIANTS – 7/10
Keeping on the path of British pop-punk, Essex based skateboard enthusiasts Giants are about as heavy as you can get, at least vocally, and still be bracketed as a pop-punk band without any question. Frontman Ed Parker‘s vocals are a little harsher than what you normally see within pop-punk, but their classic stylings akin to genre veterans The Offspring and early era Green Day is certainly refreshing. Come on guys, give us an album already!
ASTROID BOYS – 9/10
Musically, Welsh upstarts Astroid Boys stick out like a sore thumb on this bill, and infact quite a few festival bills they’ve been a part of this year. Still, the DIY headliners of Deadbolt Festival‘s first year deliver the goods in an abundance. Frontman Traxx is the main focus of attention from start-to-finish, who is still accompanied by producer temporarily turned co-vocalist Dellux whilst his right-hand man Benji is serving time until November. Together, the pair pick up the hype through songs like ‘Giggs’ and fresh offering ‘Get Off My Case’, which not only sees Traxx jumping into the crowd with the fans, but also at one point sees ROAM frontman Alex Costello diving into the crowd too. Expect these guys to explode come the eventual release of an album.
BURY THE MEMORY – 5/10
Unsigned locals Bury The Memory start off the party downstairs in the basement, and for such fresh faces they’re not afraid to get into the thick of it. Vocalist Michael Monaghan has some great pipes on him when he heads for the screams, but when the very occassional low does come into play it seems very abrupt and ultimately redundant. Maybe it’s due to the early slot and the sound desk not quite being on their game yet, but the whole mix sounds muddy and blurred. Perhaps just a one-off.
OATHS – 7/10
Keeping it Manchester born and bred, newcomers Oaths and their brand of post-hardcore meets southern hardcore brings to mind of hybrid of The Dillinger Escape Plan at their least obscure and Every Time I Die at their most accessible. Still yet to have any true official release, they deliver some looks into their upcoming debut, such as forthcoming track ‘Amsterdam’. Vocalist Topher Knowles seems set on a mission to be at every part of the stage at least once, and a quick splice of ‘Milk Lizard’ by TDEP to close off their debut single ‘I Am The Danger’ is a nice touch.
REGRESSION – 7/10
Melodic hardcore troupe Regression manage to pull in quite a hefty crowd to the SABBC stage for being such a young act, and though their approach to the genre definitely isn’t fresh or innovative, they do carry that necessary buzzsaw edge. Vocalist Matt Horsefield stays off the stage for the duration of their set and paces amongst the front row whilst screaming down the microphone. The remainder of the band seem a bit static and happy in their place, but perhaps breaking the restraints could really bring their sets to life.
OUR IMBALANCE – 8/10
Liverpudlians Our Imbalance bring forth the first pits of Deadbolt Festival, whose crushing down-tuned riff work against an at times atmospheric and at others demonic backing track makes the band sound mammoth in stature, at least when taking into account the short length of time they’ve been together. Kadeem France‘s growls are monsterous and intimidating. This outfit have definitely got off on the right foot jumping out of starting gate.
FED TO THE OCEAN – 7/10
Keeping things a la metalcore, local boys Fed To The Ocean cut out the backing tracks Our Imbalance brought and bring it back down the brass tax. Again, there’s nothing out of the ordinary blueprint here, but it’s sweaty and fun so there’s no issue there. Bradley Allen is a bit of an angry chap too, screaming away through songs like ‘Part II’ and ‘Keep On’ in the faces of the front row, and keeping the pits alive in the basement.
LOCK & KEY – 9/10
Following up just after their ‘rivals’ Shields have closed things off upstairs, hardcore up-and-comers Lock & Key are rising the ranks on the UK hardcore circuit and their performance today confidently warrants this. Still sporting their playful “FUCK SHIELDS” shirts, banging hits like ‘No Acceptance’ and set closer ‘So Alone’ keep the pit activity on a high. Frontman Richard Lardner has really come from strength to strength since his time back with Odessa, and from the sneak peeks we’ve been treated to so far, debut EP ‘The Divide’ is really going to see L&K soar once it drops next month.
DESPITE MY DEEPEST FEAR – 8/10
London lot Despite My Deepest Fear come at us with their melodic metalcore in abundance. The vocal tag team of Ryan Endacott focusing on the screams and Nick Nowak taking control of the towering cleans, DMDF carry many similarities to that of an early 00s Atreyu or even a bit of Bury Tomorrow. With their metallic stomp mixed with their melodic hooks, DMDF could be following similar steps as their aforementioned counterparts if given the right push.
CONTINENTS – 9/10
Travelling over from South Wales, Continents and their mixture of melodic hardcore and metalcore seems to be one of the best from the up-and-coming UK circuit. With one album under their belt, Continents are an outfit who spew experience beyond their years; frontman Phil Cross is energetic and encaptivating to watch, and along with band mates help to deliver one of the strongest sets of the entire festival. If you’ve not seen Continents yet, you’re doing it all wrong.
INGESTED – 9/10
It’s been almost four years now since slam titans Ingested last played a hometown show, so what better way to break this dry spell than closing off the debut Deadbolt Festival. If you like your music insanely frantic and vocals so savagely hard to decipher, these are your guys. Frontman Jay Evans carries a vocal ability that will make you question if he is actually a human and not spawned from the depths of the underworld. Songs like ‘Anal Evisceration’ are brutally explicit but horrifically enjoy to experience, and the thunderous drum work from Lyn Jeffs powering us through the meat grinder is a delight. Ingested are easily the hardest act that could’ve been digested today, but if you have an appetite for death metal, there are few delicies out there doing the same thing who can match up.
Written by Zach Redrup
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.