London Brixton Academy
Over the past few years, the increasing popularity of the hardcore/metal influenced bands on the Vans Warped Tour prompted ideas for a separate tour, devoted to these kinds of bands. It debuted in the US earlier this year with huge success, and as a result, a UK leg was put together – with a total of nine bands playing under the banner of Taste Of Chaos (insert your own ‘Casey from Amen‘-themed bad joke here). Tonight is the tour’s last date – a second sold-out night at London’s Brixton Academy.
Reggie And The Full Effect are first on; unfortunately, the sheer length of the queue means that I only see the last ten minutes of James Dewees and co’s bizarre but excellent collage of thrash and synth-laden pop punk. The crowd appears happy but a little confused, which can only be a good thing. These guys really should have been higher up the bill.
A little enthusiasm can go a long way, and so it proves with Story Of The Year, as they relentlessly bounce around the stage like kangaroos on Red Bull. It’s just as well; given that the Missouri quintet’s overly slick metallic hardcore sound is nothing to get too excited over. Still, the punters seem to love them, and they clearly appreciate it. Out of the three local bands picked to play tonight, the best of bunch is the one-man Essex-based extravaganza that is Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. Sam and his beloved laptop suffer worst from the infamous Brixton Academy echo, but he still wins a few more fans with his reflective beat-laden acoustic tracks. Good things are surely to come.
However, it is Rise Against who truly kick this event into gear, blasting through a set of fiercely intelligent melodic with total conviction. Their recent ‘Siren Song Of The Counter Culture‘ album has clearly won them several new fans, and the likes of ‘State Of The Union‘ and ‘Like The Angel‘
are nothing short of anthemic. Tonight, Rise Against sound like a band to believe in.
Given that Killswitch Engage leader/guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was unable to join his band for this tour due to health problems, it’s a pleasant surprise that the Massachusetts metal crew still sound as monolithically impressive as ever, with their trademark thunderous riffs inciting mayhem in the pit.
The Used singer Bert McCracken joins them for a soaring ‘The End Of Heartache‘, whilst additional guitar help from a roadie ensures that the closing brace of ‘My Last Serenade‘ and ‘Rose Of Sharyn‘ take no prisoners. Quite possibly the band of the evening.
Unfortunately, we are now taken on a trip to the more commercial, watered-down end of emo-metal with The Used and headliners Funeral For A Friend. The former band like their huge choruses to the extent that they often resemble some godawful 80’s AOR band, and only truly shine on fan favourite ‘The Taste Of Ink’. FFAF may rock harder, but this doesn’t excuse their lack of memorable songs, maybe with ‘Juneau‘ and ‘History‘ excepted. It’s hard to feel much pride for a British band headlining a tour of this size, when the UK has so many better bands to offer. So what does Chaos Taste like? Well, on tonight’s evidence, it gets a little bitter towards the end, but there’s still enough good stuff to make you want a second helping. Roll on TOC 2006…