LIVE: Attack Attack! @ Sound Control, Manchester (06/03/2012)

Date: March 6th, 2012
Venue: Sound Control, Manchester
Support: The Final Crisis, Calore, Heights


It’s fair to say that Attack Attack! have grown up a lot since their infamous crabcore beginnings from 2009’s video for ‘Stick Stickly’. Three albums into their career, the latest being this year’s ‘This Means War’, and the band are gradually maturing away from their original “scene” style, combining electro and metal, and becoming more of a metalcore band. A new promo tour of the UK however will see how their popularity has maintained.

Leeds openers The Final Crisis (***) shoves a slice of heavy into the evening’s proceedings from the word go. Though it’s obvious this band needs to tweak a few things here and there, they’re still very young and have plenty of time to hone their experience into bulking the band unit as a whole. With a few plugs here and there of their free-to-download EP ‘Counterparts’ throughout the set from frontman Luke Mackenzie, there’s no doubt they’ll have gained a few new fans.

First tour line-up band proper Calore (**) could be best described as a British Woe, Is Me currently in boot camp training. They’ve got the electronic backings, the dual vocal approach (one focusing on harsh vocals, the other on the high cleans), but it all comes across a little too lacklustre and messy in its delivery. They seem to be set for big things though, so let’s hope they can keep their heads above the tide when it comes crashing upon them.

Heights (*****) however wipe the faces off the previous acts, and set the bar extremely high for the headliners to top. Since releasing their free 3-track EP back in 2010, the Hertforshire quintet have soared sky high and it’s a delight to see where they are today. With a set full of blistering ambient hardcore goodness in the likes of ‘Eye For An Eye’, ‘Forget’ and ‘Dead Ends’, seeing various members of the bang hanging off of ceiling equipment, catapulting their faces into the front rows of the crowd and even frontman Thomas Debaere getting into the thick of things with the fans, Heights truly are one of the best fresh live bands on the British circuit.

It’s clear however, as it is most of the time, that the vast majority of the people in attendance are here for the grand finale: Attack Attack! (****). Sticking mainly to tracks from their latest full-length ‘This Means War’, including ‘The Wretched’, ‘The Family’ and ‘The Betrayal’, it’s a testament to how much trust they put into their new material and style. Vocalist Caleb Shomo‘s rather emotional delivery with ‘The Motivation’ is worth a mention too, shedding some depth that can’t quite be tracked on record. A few of the more old school fans aren’t left disappointed however, bringing a much rawer take on ‘Stick Stickly’, and encore set closer ‘Smokahontas’ sends the fans into utter choas mode.

Written by Zach Redrup