Everyone loves poppy metalcore in Bristol, and on the current crest of that wave are both Crown The Empire and Issues, who swing through the city on a co-headline, blink and you’ll miss it tour.
With One Last Breath (**) are only 5 years old but they’ve still been going longer than the bands that they’re subbing to. They’re flying the flag for England tonight and, despite their valiant efforts, the young crowd doesn’t seem very interested. Their music is very similar to Glamour Of The Kill and Asking Alexandria, featuring lots of woah-ohs and plenty of open chord chugging. Lead man Sam Graves has recently stepped up to vocals after the departure of Spencer Costello and there’s certainly nothing wrong with his guttural growls and sweet cleans. However, you can’t help but feel WOLB would be a lot more popular if they had a hip young fellow in charge flicking his fringe from side to side.
There’s not much reception for the five members of Issues (***) until they’re joined on stage by clean vocalist Tyler Carter, with his curious get-up of a swept blonde fringe and long sleeve Nails shirt. Issues are really all about him and harsh vocalist Michael Bohn now that the Ferris brothers have done their traditional runner, although the line-up has been relatively stable recently with only the addition of Josh Manuel on drums this year. Issues only have seven songs and they play every one of them during their brief time on stage, including new song ‘Hooligans’, ‘Princeton Ave.’ and set closer, ‘King Of Amarillo’. Despite their many trials and tribulations, it’s great to see an awesome display of companionship on stage when Carter‘s mic breaks and Bohn hands him his own. If Issues can finally stick to a constant line-up, there’s no reason why their upcoming album won’t catapult them into the limelight.
Many at the show have freely admitted that they don’t know much of Crown The Empire (***), but as soon as they walk on stage it’s obvious why they’ve managed to wrangle themselves a UK tour after just one album. Every member is dressed smartly in waistcoats and ties and every member could feature in an episode of One Tree Hill. Opener, ‘Johnny’s Revenge’, is a bizarre little track flowing from circus sounds to breakdowns to a singalong chorus, sounding a lot like Panic! At The Disco but with breakdowns. CTE too only play 8 songs overall, via the likes of ‘Makeshift Chemistry’ and ‘Memories Of A Broken Heart’, but it helps them avoid overstaying their welcome as many of their tunes sound worryingly similar. Encore, ‘Johnny Ringo’, is another curious trip through circus surroundings, but CTE complete the night without looking too silly themselves.
Professing that the previous night’s show in Southampton was shit, let’s hope this 11 date tour doesn’t fall flat on its premature face. If Pierce The Veil ever decide to pack it in, Crown The Empire will take up their position without anyone even realising the switch was made.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)