Live Review: The Safety Fire, ZOAX, The Final Crisis and Anchored By Avarice – The Cockpit, Leeds – 06/09/13


Unfortunately I have to admit to missing Anchored By Avarice due to ‘reasons beyond my control’, which is an excuse everyone seems to use these days (and in further honesty, The Cockpit’s website didn’t detail of when the doors were opening? Really guys?) So yeah, sincerest apologies.

Right, so my first viewing of the night was of local (I assume from accents and the like) support The Final Crisis. Looking past the pretty bland name for a band who have a majorly hardcore sound (with a few little tech bits here and there), they do in fact sound terribly muddy. I’m pretty sure it’s the bass guitar itself as any sections where the bass drops out  suddenly sound so clear but then, nope, see you later mid and treble frequencies as the bass overpowers again; it’s incredibly muddy and now I’m making a terrible comparison to this Leeds Festival (‘ALAN? STEVE?’ Yeah, grow up everyone). The gang ‘chants’ that occurred rarely were actually shouts on the screaming variety, which were unexpected and I’ve not seen that idea before so 10 points to Gryffindor. On the whole though, there isn’t anything musically unique or exhilarating to grab my attention, which is kind of a key component when supporting a much bigger band, especially when there’s plenty of potential fans within the crowd. (2/5)

This fan gaining regime, however, is perfectly displayed by touring support ZOAX. Despite having this ridiculous name (which I can’t even begin to comprehend its origins) the band are ruddy good. Watching bands you’ve never heard of before or have no idea about can obviously go one of two ways; one, you’re not really impressed (see above paragraph) or two, you’re impressed and actually go out to listen to them on the world wide interwebs later. Ok, so seeing as ZOAX are touring support they probably have more experience than The Final Crisis, but they’re still playing to plenty of potential new fans and have certainly gained one (that’s me by the way). My notes from the evening highlight a ‘more riffy state of music,’ although we can transcribe this as more memorable, which is certainly a captivating element of music (I sound like I’m your music teacher, sorry).

Vocalist Adam Carrol (thanks Facebook) is the key element of entertainment for a fresh faced batch of music fans. I mean, first off he’s got the whole screamed and clean vocals down to a tee which has been making me weak at the knees since circa 2005 (20 points to Gryffindor). And when I’m not being reminded of his Jason Butler-esque mannerisms, and even beard (although nowhere near as hobo like) I’m hearing some very melodic Closure In Moscow/Dance Gavin Dance instances and yeah, that’s a compliment (Side note: Closure In Moscow are incredibly underrated so go and check out ‘Kissing Cousins’ now). TLDR; ZOAX are rad, but somewhat better live. Check them out when you can. (3.5/5)

‘Yellowism’ is a beast from new album ‘Mouth Of Swords’ and opens up tonights set from The Safety Fire. A particular favourite part of mine is the falsetto vocals that break away so elegantly from the crushing destruction back in the mid range of things, but each time this line comes around vocalist Sean McWeeney (thanks Facebook) seems to struggle more and more to hit those lush notes. Unfortunately this does leave me somewhat disappointed and I feel like an arse saying it, but I’ve got to. However, amongst the rest of the set are some slow dancing, superb growl deliverance and the sweetest solos to grace my ears in The Cockpit on a Friday night since time itself began. ‘Huge Hammers’ is a clear fan favourite (that riff, dude) and really kicks off the crowd in the way I was expecting and that’s when I was thinking ‘Who cares if Sean didn’t hit those notes? The crowd are absolutely lapping it up; this is entertaining and so these gents on stage are doing their job perfectly well’. Fuck what I have to say; I’m just an unpaid music journalist. (3.5/5)


Words by Mikey Brown (@MikeyMiracle)


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