Date: May 9th, 2014
Venue: Macbeth, London
Support: Moose Blood / Major League / Turnover
Who better to celebrate What Ever Happened To P-Rock? Club’s 5th birthday than Vinnie Caruana‘s I Am The Avalanche? The ex-The Movielife frontman has been involved with some great and influential rock albums over the last decade, and comes with a stella live reputation as goers of the Macbeth in Hoxton found out back in 2012. East London is spoilt for choice tonight as Real Friends and Modern Baseball are tearing up The Old Blue Last just down the road, but a big crowd has arrived early to soak in a full evening of punk rock, craft beer and Friday night mayhem.
Moose Blood (***) have been knocking around ‘Bands to look out for’ lists all year, and by the sounds of their new songs tonight it’s completely justified. They may be slightly tired after just arriving back from recording their debut album in LA, but their emotional lyrics combined with a pop-punk foundation work so well together, and Eddy Brewerton confidently holds the room with his hoarse vocals. The best is saved ’til last though, as ‘Boston’ and fan favourite ‘Bukowski’ close the set.
Immediately picking up the pace, Major League (***) smash straight into ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Subject To Change’, with that classic USA pop-punk style that we’re all so used to and fond of. The chorus of ‘Because Heaven Knows’ is monstrously catchy, and the dual vocals of Brian Joyce and Matt Chila on ‘Home Wrecker’ work perfectly to finish off an upbeat and fun set from the New Jersey dudes.
Turnover (**) predominantly tour on these pop-punk bills, yet latest release ‘Magnolia’ is anything but. ‘Pray For Me’ and ‘Wither’ almost bring the entire evening to a halt. They’re so slow and uninteresting, yet the self-titled EPs ‘Sasha’ sounds fantastic and is full of heart and rowdiness. ‘Most Of The Time’ ends their time on a high with a crowd cheer that matches even the loudest of the night so far.
New York’s I Am The Avalanche (****) have the undoubtable power to create a party atmosphere wherever they are, and it’s not long until the Jack Daniels is out tonight; they manage just 4 songs before the shots are being passed around the band members. Brand new single, ‘The Shape I’m In’, and the excellent ‘Holy Fuck’ get the crowd singing loud and pouring beer all over each other and the walls of the now very busy Macbeth. Although it’s dubbed the ‘Wolverines’ tour, the set is extremely varied, with ‘I Took A Beating’ and ‘New Disaster’ from 2005’s self-titled full-length featuring early on amongst the superiorly popular second album treatment of ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘The Gravedigger’s Argument’.
The new material is generally well received; the catchy ‘Anna Lee’ is particularly memorable, but you can’t beat a good ol’ drinking song, and the room are more than happy to raise a glass with Vinnie and co. for ‘This One’s On Me’. ‘Gratitude’ expectedly cues excited chants of “Avalanche United! Avalanche United!”, in which the response is always the same; ‘Brooklyn Dodgers’. The perfect song for this occasion, the crowd go wild for the big, big chorus and sing ’til their throats are sore.
Written by Michael Heath