Live Reviews Music

La Dispute and Title Fight Live at The Garage

La Dispute/Title Fight
The Garage, London
20th September 2012

From the get go, Title Fight had the audience exactly where they wanted them. Everyone was ferocious, and as eager to sing along with vocalist, Jamie Rhoden. The crowd, ever so relentless, couldn’t help themselves but to climb on the stage at every opportunity.

At any one given time, there were at least three fans either climbing on the stage, or diving off. At first, it was quite cool; fans showing their support and singing along, forgetting about the bruises and jumping into the pit, but the novelty factor soon wore off. If not for the Title Fights’s musicianship, it would’ve been difficult putting up with such distractions. It was impressive to see them pull of a flawless set in the midst of cables being ripped off mics, and roadies on call every few minutes to fix a stand or make sure nothing else was damaged. Gang chants are one thing, but to have the crowd to sing, more like shout, to every word in the set was something else.

Title Fight occasionally drifted off in an almost shoegaze-esque fashion, taking the crowd with them in these calm moments before the storm reappeared. The set list was filled with songs from their debut album ‘Shed’, EP ‘The Last Thing You Forget’, and not forgetting tracks from latest release ‘Floral Green‘. Title Fight pulled of an awesome performance, despite the over eager and somewhat off-putting crowd.

The crowd, the energy, the feel and the atmosphere refined to a less destructive and a more aware audience as heroes La Dispute emerge. The hardcore kids seem to have got crowd surfing out of their systems. La Dispute just make the crowd listen and hang on to every word.

La Dispute, one of bands which make up “The Wave” which have taken Post-Hardcore by storm and stand out because of the their eclectic styles and lyrical content, with the majority of their songs based on true events, accounts and retelling of old stories which they’ve acquired from meeting various people on their travels. And this is precisely why the songs are so gripping. And despite being sad they’re honest memento’s to lives once lived.

Tonight’s set list was varied, covering material from the acclaimed albums ‘Somewhere At The Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair’ and the most recent ‘Wildlife‘. The show started of with all out bruised bodies and the whole heart shrinks which perfectly exemplifies Jordan Dreyer’s vocal styling, from starting off like a spoken word poem and drifting off to screaming out the rest.

They played, for the first time live, ‘St Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church Blues‘ which was a hit with the crowd. But the outstanding song of the night, one that’s rarely played was ‘Andria’ .

After charging through a truly awesome and emotional set. La Dispute re-emerged for a two song encore. ‘Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit’ and ‘King Park’ which left the crowd roaring out loud “Can I still get in to heaven if i kill myself”. La Dispute need to hit our shores more often, too many people missed out on tonight due to the intimate venue size, plus there are many more epic songs to be heard live.

Words: Arif Noor
Photos: Adam Waugh

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Fake History
Epitaph Records

letlive.fake historyOn first hearing ‘Le Prologue’, the opening track to ‘Fake History’, it’s easy to assume that you’re about to hear a drawn out, suspense building intro track that you would’ve lost interest in before reaching any kind of semblance to a song… but no, letlive. write off the suspense and unleash an outrageous and calculated assault, aimed straight at your unsuspecting nervous system feet first with big fucking boots on. Before you know it, track two, ‘The Sick, Sick 6.8 billion’, has happened and it’s happened hard, and you don’t get a chance to breath until it’s over.

If you miss the time when Anthony Green was still in Saosin, and Glassjaw had just released Worship and Tribute, ‘Fake History’ is probably going to blow your mind. In terms of a post-hardcore record, it’s near perfect, and considering the fact that it’s basically an hour long, keeping the listener interested is a victory in itself. ‘Fake History’ achieves this with variety. Each track is a journey, both vocally and musically, and this allows the whole record to ebb and flow as a whole. Vocalist Jason Aalon Butler can belt out an ear-splitting scream, switch effortlessly to a whisper, and tops it off by holding those big notes in a way that Andrea Bocelli would most likely have busted a blood vessel or two. The drums on ‘Casino Columbus’ sound like thick, heavy artillery whereas tracks like ‘Lemon Party’ provide rhythms that’ll have your dancing shoes on in seconds. Sure, loads of bands can mix it up in an album, but what sets this apart is that it’s all presented so damn stylishly. All the musicians are solid and it’s undeniable that Butler’s vocal skills are slick as hell and more than accomplished.

If you were fortunate enough to see them at the Old Blue Last for their first UK headline show, then you won’t need convincing. If you missed it, fear not, for it seems clear that letlive. are a bomb that will be exploding into your lives, turning and rolling heads simultaneously, and ‘Fake History’ is lighting the fuse. This album is what you love about post-hardcore. It highlights everything that was good and exciting about the genre: unforgiving and impassioned vocal hooks, a rhythm section that is both restrained and relentless, all of which will get you singing, dancing and generally losing your shit.

Oli Knowles

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La Dispute & Touché Amoré

Searching For A Pulse / The Worth Of The World
No Sleep Records

Two of the pre-eminent members in burgeoning Post-Hardcore scene ‘The Wave’, La Dispute and Touché Amoré release this brand new split 7”inch Searching For a Pulse / The Worth of the World. This pairing of some of punk’s most exciting young blood means expectations are set high, but the two bands meet them convincingly.

Touché Amoré kick off the split with I’ll Get My Just Deserve, which is boosted by the contributions of La Dispute’s distinctive vocalist Jordan Treynor. The ascending guitar melody injects the track with a great sense of urgency, which is just as well, as like most of Touché Amoré’s material the song is over in a flash. But it’s the vocal interplay between the two singers that is most impressive about the record’s first half, and although very brief, hints at the further potential of this collaboration.

La Dispute offer the weightier half of the release, which picks up where their immense 2008 debut left off. How I Feel is the heavier of the two tracks, working around up-tempo guitar riffs before breaking down into an epic shouting contest between the two vocalists. The 7”inch is rounded off by the slower paced Why It Scares Me, the record’s calmest offering which puts emphasis on Treynor’s lyrical sprawl. Whether or not you like La Dispute, or indeed this record, will ultimately hinge on what you make of Treynor’s melodramatic vocal style.

Personally I like a little melodrama in my hardcore, and few do it better than both La Dispute and Touché Amoré. As expected, then, this split is one of the year’s standout punk releases and promises much for the next full lengths from both bands.

Sleekly Lion