Concept bands are a rare breed, at least the good ones are, who can create a solid story from the ground up and keep the overarching plot through the art of their music release after release. Massachusetts melodic hardcore kings Defeater are certainly a member of this rare flock of talent, most recently continuing their Word War II era story of characters going strength-to-strength in the form of last year’s ‘Abandoned’. They’re finally back over in the UK to showcase it live in some rather intimate venues.
Israel’s Kids Insane  start things off to a rather timid room, who only take a few steps forward to a now 4 foot gap of floor space in front of the stage after some encouragement from frontman Corey Ben Yehuda. It’s clear that Kids Insane mean business, even with Corey‘s somewhat colloquial-esque lyrical delivery. There’s a somewhat raw and rough around the edges Glassjaw vibe about them, and with the right push could really see some success on UK shores.
Having made their way over from the completely opposite side of the world, Break Even  have been over to the UK before on one or two occasions, and despite the still mainly static nature of the crowd, there’s certainly a few faces in the crowd here to catch them. The band are humble, and throughout vocalist Mark Bawden regularly thanks everyone for showing their support, and though songs like ‘The Truth’ and ‘Young & Bright’ are delights, with they just don’t seem to pack enough energy and bounce in their performance to make the crowd even consider doing the same.
It’s not long before Defeater  take to the stage, and finally we see the crowd display some form of outburst that you’d expect from a hardcore punk rock show. From the off, fans are screaming back the words from the opening one-two of ‘Unanswered’ and ‘December 1943’ into frontman Derek Archambault‘s face. Indeed, it’s ‘Dear Father’ and ‘Empty Glass’ which really get the Mancunian audience before them riled up, with the latter of the two seeing fans rammed up the stage and piling onto one another to grab the microphone and scream “’cause there ain’t nothing like your smile, your legs, and those eyes.”
They may not come over here as often as we would hope, but every time they do, Defeater prove to us just why they’re holding the crown of everyone else in the melodic hardcore scene, and there’s now showing of them being dethroned any time soon.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.