Words: Keira Trethowan | Images: Craig Taylor-Broad Photography
If a hardcore gig isn’t filled to the brim with sticky bodies sharing their sweat then there’s something amiss. Fortunately, Studio Bar is the perfect setting for such affiliations, and Sunday’s matinee line-up was poised to be something quite clammy indeed.
Opening the event were Cornish metal aficionados Lane End, and I’m sad to announce that I was left with a concoction of polar-opposite emotions from their set. Clearly, the five-some have a stormy group talent and with more practice I’m sure they could perform something of great merit. But their set, to me at least, appeared to lack an element of dynamism, and it all felt a tiny bit unprofessional and unrehearsed. Perhaps they were having a bad day, and if so, I’m sure that many will look forward to catching them again at a later date.
Next on the agenda were the two-piece doom-metal band who Satan himself would eagerly endorse. Monolithian took to the stage as they were born to do so, and filled the room with a heavy layer of addictive black metal that many larger bands would be unable to achieve. Simon and Shannon may appear to be reserved in person, but there was absolutely nothing discreet or quiet about their set or impressive magnitudes of roaring talent. They’re certainly a band to catch if they’re ever in your vicinity.
Up next were the almighty We Never Learned to Live and their mutually beaming faces were clearly keen to be back in the intimate venue once again. In their usual form, the Brighton legends carved a set of emotional intensity that was felt by each and every crowd member. It takes an incredible amount to floor me, but with tremor after tremor of heartfelt hardcore bliss it would have taken someone with a heart of stone to come away feeling stable and surefooted from their set. I’ve said it before, and I’ll undoubtedly say it again: you haven’t experienced intensity until you’ve seen We Never Learned to Live perform live.
Headlining were the hardcore tyrants Employed to Serve, and there was nothing but tempestuously angst-driven cards on the table for their set. With the stage used merely as a base point, the band hurdled throughout the venue, dispersing an atmosphere of wild and ear-destroying defiance. Even as the set continued they assured wholeheartedly that they included the audience in their soiree of dismally delectable offerings, and supplied a good slice of instrumental and vocal variability. The intimacy of the venue agreed with them, and nobody in their right mind is going to forget the anarchy that was dispelled throughout it.