Live Review: The Story So Far, Turnstile and Drug Church – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – 07/12/2015

It is no doubt The Story So Far are one of the most influential bands from the underground music scene. You just have to look how many bands have adopted Parker Cannon’s shouting-singing style. Nevertheless this year’s self-titled effort received mixed opinions, lacking a huge step of progression whilst emphasising the bands more aggressive edge.

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Tonight’s openers back up that latter point. Whilst past support bands for TSSF have firmly been of the pop punk variety, it’s clear the band want to test their fan base by bringing two old school hardcore bands along. First up is Albany, New York’s Drug Church. From the start there’s an urgency to their sound with screeching guitars and Patrick Kindlon barking words. ‘Bagged’ proves to be an explosive with striking guitars, thunderous drums and a dense rhythm section.

Throughout the quintet come as a fierce and tight unit yet rarely stray from the steady to loud structure that, at times, drown own Kindlon’s partly spoken word display. Nevertheless the bands overall display is solid with a mix of jangly and chugging guitars leading throughout. Whilst in Kindlon, Drug Chuch have a self-assured vocalist with an intriguing message in his words. (3/5)

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With their debut full-length, ‘Nonstop Feeling’, Baltimore’s Turnstile have been one of the most talked about hardcore bands of 2015. So it’s no surprised that by the time they arrive for their 40 minute set, Rescue Rooms is packed out with an air of anticipation and curiosity. Whilst we’re left waiting 10 minutes later than expected, the quintet jump straight into proceedings. With their groove metal undertone, Turnstile are hardcore through and through; chugging guitars, stomping tempo and impassioned shouting.

You might think their intimate, DIY-made sound may get loss in the well-sized room, but with an energetic pit and Brendan Yates willingness to get involved with the crowd at the barrier, Turnstile’s show transfers into a larger setting. Nevertheless their sound is raw and energetic with a majority in the packed out crowd feeding off what is offer. Whilst tonight’s showing may not fully backup “the hype” Turnstile have received over the past 12 months, they still give it their all. (3/5)

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Shortly after 9pm, Walnut Creek’s The Story So Far with ‘Empty Space’ instantly receiving a boisterous reaction. Straight away there is a mass sing-along as frontman Parker Cannon is reluctant leader whilst his band mates sound tighter than in previous showings, yet they retain that required rawness.

Through ‘Nerve’, ‘Things I Can’t Change’ ‘The Glass’, Cannon and company have an arsenal of urgent, edgy pop-punk cuts that remind us why we loved TSSF in the first place. Every song is welcomed by a sea of pointing of figures and is sung in unison.

Newer cuts ‘Distaste’ and ‘Solo’ are more jagged and dynamic but aren’t as effective as older material. Somewhat unfortunately for TSSF, it is the older song that get the biggest reaction of the night. ‘Quicksand’ sends the venue into a spin and ‘Roam’ is a vibrant as ever. Whilst ‘Clairvoyant’ offers a poignant highlight that offers a moment of reflection for all in attendance.

Tonight’s show is a reminder of what made The Story So Far so appealing when they emerged three or so years ago, yet they still have shortcomings. Throughout the quintet show a lack of energy that hinders the overall night. Cannon is appreciative but his band mates are statue-like, and when combined with rather tamed newer material, you’re left wanting that bit more. Nevertheless The Story So Far still have hold as one of pop-punk’s current elite, but on tonight’s showing, an improvement is needed in future. (3.5/5)


Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.


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