Live Reviews

As I Lay Dying – Live

Oxford Zodiac

Having been branded “the best punk band to come out of Britain since 1977”, tonight’s it’s clear as to why Gallows are such shit hot news right now. Far from providing catchy hooks and a slick image, the Watford mob are punk rock in its rawest and most primitive form.

With his giant spread eagle tattoo on display and with a face quickly becoming as red as his locks, vocalist Frank Carter spends as much time hurling himself from the stage as much as he does on it, and when coupled with such rock and roll infested cuts as ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’, it makes for one of the most dangerous, unpredictable yet utterly brilliant performances this sleepy Oxford venue has seen in years. Punk is no longer a 4-letter word.

The chances of ANY band being able to top or even equal such a tornado is slim at best, but it doesn’t stop California’s As I Lay Dying from giving it one hell of a shot. Alongside the likes of Underoath, the quintet are leaders of the media branded “Christian Metal” surge across the pond. To put it bluntly – they’re fucking huge. Latest album ‘Shadows Are Security’ has shifted some 250,000 copies Stateside alone, and as they thrash their way across the stage it’s no wonder. Don’t let their faith fool you, there is simply nothing holy about the likes of ’94 Hours’ as the band hurl their guitars like babies with rattles, pummelling the audience with devastating precision.

Where so many bands inject catchy choruses and melodic vocals without the ability to pull it off live, As I Lay Dying’s trump card lays in bassist Clint Norris. As front man Tim Lambesis slams his neck in every direction and drummer Jordan Mancino windmills furiously behind the kit, it’s Norris who lends songs such as ‘Darkest Nights’ and ‘Confined‘ pitch-perfect definition as those at the front scream with gut-busting passion.

Two great bands, one great gig, and a fucking blistering start to 2007.