Live Reviews

F.V.K/Cro-Mags Live


It’s not often you can precisely pin-point the exact moment a radical change in music occurs. Metal, hardcore and punk were the results of a steady evolution in rock music that happened over many years, yet the first real combination of all three styles can be aimed squarely at the 1986 release of the Cro-Mags debut ‘Age Of Quarrel’ album.

It’s sheer muscle-flexing power and unrelenting brutality signalled the birth of metalcore and to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this pivotal moment, original members John Joseph and Mackie have teamed up with Biohazard guitarist Scott Roberts and Leeway bassist A.J. under the name F.V.K. for a nostalgic romp through their best material.

Within moments of arriving onstage it becomes immediately clear that age has not mellowed the songs or the people playing them. Heavily tattooed frontman John Joseph stalks the stage like a caged panther, smashing his microphone to the floor in disgust when it fails to work then leading the band through the likes of ‘Hard Times‘ and ‘Malfunction‘ with such intensity that the veins on their necks look they’re about to pop. A liberal sprinkling of Bad Brains covers (drummer Mackie played with the rasta rockers in their later years) result in the whole audience losing their voices as we scream ourselves hoarse to every word. Nostalgia never felt so good.

James Sherry