Live Review: Deez Nuts, Comeback Kid, Hellions, First Blood, Get The Shot, and Reality Slap – O2 Academy Islington, London – 15/02/2017

Live Review: Deez Nuts, Comeback Kid, Hellions, First Blood, Get The Shot, and Reality Slap – O2 Academy Islington, London – 15/02/2017

You can never go wrong with a stacked 6-band bill on a Wednesday night in the middle of February can you? Following in the footsteps of Madball’s Resistance Tour and Impericon’s Never Say Die franchise, You Are Part Of This is the new yearly package deal from everybody’s favourite Aussie party starters Deez Nuts. With plenty of riffs to dish out, the hardcore circus rolls in the capital and more precisely Islington Academy for what proves to be a tinnitus inducing few hours.

More than anything this evening is a worldwide affair that covers the full breadth of hardcore’s power across the planet. That sentiment in demonstrated best through the opening duo of Lisbon’s Reality Slap (4/5) who dish out rampant, lightning fast tunes to a ever expanding crowd of foot stompers and head nodders and Quebec City’s Get The Shot (4/5) who with their anti-fascist message plastered across the stage get the middle of the room spinning with their brick-to-the-temple styled beatdowns.

It’s good to have First Blood back properly. After two years away from British shores and their first album in seven years finally out in the world, the veterans are on bruising form. Playing a majority of songs from new record ‘Rules’ while throwing a few old school classics in the mixer for good measure this is a performance that shows off the band’s clear experience yet also shows that they are still as relevant as ever. (4/5)

Hellions are the most unique and fresh faced band on the tour and being such an anomaly works in their favour brilliantly. Their combination of classic hardcore punk sentimentalities and theatrical musicianship may not be to the taste of every pair of ears in the room but the majority get behind the band and let what they are attempting click. ‘Lotus Eater’ and ‘Thresher’ in particular sound vibrant while a mosh inciting run through of ‘Hellions’ caps this off as a significant victory in the face of adversity. (4/5)

Harder, faster, heavier than all, tonight belongs to Comeback Kid. From the moment Andrew Neufeld takes to the stage to then jump straight on to the barrier so he can stick his screaming face in to the crowd, this is absolute bedlam. Though at times the band’s momentum is soured by security not knowing how to handle the carnage before them in a professional manner, that doesn’t stop a raging ’Wasted Arrows’ and deliciously violent ‘False Idols Fall’ from inciting pure passion from fans putting their bodies on the line. As it usually is, the utter chaos that ensues when ‘Wake The Dead’ drops is enough to remind you why hardcore is such a powerful entity and it proves hard to not fall in love with it all over again. Flawless. (5/5)

Following on from such a performance was never going to be easy, but Deez Nuts give it a good go. Smashing through a career spanning set at some pace, the band are at their battering and grooving best but it just doesn’t live up to the carnage that preceded it. JJ Peters continues to be a solid frontman and swaggers about the stage with a level of street styled charisma while spitting bile at every turn. Opener ‘Band Of Brothers’ and classics ‘Stay True’ and ‘Your Mother Should Have Swallowed You’ are the highlights here while a new tune show that the Aussies are bridging into unchartered and exciting waters. As a whole, they cap off a night that has showcased the crème de la crème of hardcore’s different faces and shown that the future is in very safe hands. (3.5/5)

4/5

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)