Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Show Review: Cruel Hand, Backtrack, Hate Your Guts
Words and images by Kyle Niland:
Saturday, November 28th was a good day in Connecticut hardcore.
More often then not you will get to a show around the scheduled door time and walk into a venue with a few of your friends sitting around anticipating the start of the show with not one unfamiliar face in sight. Although on this night, I had the pleasant surprise of seeing a lot of people there for the show who I have never seen before. This may not seem like a big deal but when you have been to shows where you could count the number of people in the room that weren't in bands on both hands it is like Christmas came early. The room proceeded to fill out making for what would be a great show for the bands and attendees alike. The clock struck 7:00 and the local kings of core "Hate Your Guts" took the floor. If you're not familiar with these handsome young gentleman, they could be described as a near perfect blend of "Justice Replaced By Revenge" era "Ringworm" and Connecticut's own "Hatebreed". "Hate Your Guts" proceeded to set the pace for the evening by getting the crowd moving within the first song. The room could be seen as an unstoppable wave of human bodies smashing into everything that wasn't already moving. The action did not cease after the first song. The kids planned on having their say this night. Nothing was going to stop them from reacting to the vicious combination of riffs and drum beats being produced by drummer Chris Loso and lead guitar player Pat Serpe. On the forefront, vocalist Rob Anderson leading the onslaught with his brash and abrasive vocal stylings. The band ripped through song after song, slaying the crowd with each and every note being played. The reaction put forth by the crowd will forever leave an impression on the ones in the room who were not familiar with the band's work. I promise that more then a few people left the room as new fans of "Hate Your Guts".
In what seemed like no time at all, Long Island hardcore all stars "Backtrack" were all set up and ready to show us there interpretation of the NYHC sound that most of us all know and love. Let me say they live up to the name. Blending all of the best qualities of bands such as "Killing Time", "Sick Of It All", and "Madball". They pummeled the audience with real stripped down hardcore, the way it should be done. The crowd was reluctant to move their feet to the Long Island beat at first but a couple songs in, the kids responded to the riffs being thrown in their faces with a sudden and violent response. The band ripped through their set playing songs off their latest 7" "Deal with the Devil". To truly understand the buzz around this band, you need to see them live for the full experience. Learn a great lesson in where hardcore has came from being taught by a band fresh out of Long Island.
The time had came for the headlining band to take the floor, Cruel Hand. A band that makes sounding like Metallica, Obituary, and, Madball all at the same time seem like a simple task. They opened their set up with a couple tracks off of their newest musical endeavor, "Lock and Key" (Out now on Bridge 9 records). The audience seemed content with banging their heads along to the first few songs. Eventually they hit the point on the set list with the more recognizable material and the stuff that really got everyone's blood pumping. The band went into "Begin Descension" sending the room into a frenzy. The energy in the crowd could only be matched by the singer of Cruel Hand's perfectly executed stage moves. Cruel Hand did not disappoint the crowd, jamming a few new songs but keeping it real by throwing in a few older classics. I really feel like they're doing it for the kids. They closed out their set by playing their hit song "Life in Shambles" and I don't think anyone could have asked for anything else. This show should not have been a disappointment anyone in the Connecticut scene. We can only hope this is a sign of good things to come for the future.