Part of a short 3 gig sprint across Bristol and south Wales this 3-band bill comprising of Nottingham’s noisy as fuck hardcore mob Scene Killers, Newport’s Action Rock champions Deathtraps, and Abertillery’s melodic hardcore punkers System Reset, is the perfect solution for anyone pissed off with soaring gig ticket prices. 3 quality bands, all with new vinyl to promote, and its £5 on the door. What more could you want?
The Pit, which is downstairs at McCanns Rock Bar in Newport, is about 2/3 full for the arrival of System Reset, for what turns out to be, Stan, the band’s constantly bouncing frontman’s birthday celebrations. Having gigged like bastards throughout the summer their short 30 odd minute set packed with tunes from their recently released ‘Many Hands Make Lies Work’ EP literally flies by, and whilst the songs on the surface are full of melodies you can’t get out of your head, you only have to stop and listen to the subject matters being tackled to realise that the five-piece are one pissed off bunch. Playing ‘Big Business’ as a middle finger to what I alluded to in my intro above, System Reset are the perfect soundtrack for grey Britain, and as if to further reinforce that point it’s also pissing down outside tonight as I step out to get a quick breather between bands.
Taking the stage (or floor as is the case in The Pit) to the strains of Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’, Deathtraps are the Action Rock filling in this mini tour’s otherwise hardcore sandwich, and with album number 3 fresh out the box they waste no time in introducing the crowd to the delights of ‘Appetite For Prescription’ via a blistering ‘Red Eyes and Black Kisses’, and what follows is a lesson in foot to the floor punk rock ‘n’ roll. Vaughan and Fraser spitting out the lyrics to the likes of ‘Rip Em Off’ and ‘Press Darlings’ in venomous fashion, whilst peppering the set with tracks from their ‘Stole Your Rock N Roll’ album via ‘Cool Kids’ and ‘Let’s Fall Out Of Love’ and keeping the travelling fans (of which there are quite a few) very happy indeed. Closing things out with an impromptu cover of Turbonegro’s ‘Denim Demon’ during which Sutton from System Rest and Jesse from Scene Killers join them, Deathtraps are the true shitty sound of south Wales’ steel towns and they sound absolutely fucking glorious.
As the rock world waits with baited breath for the arrival of the next Hip Priests album, their band members have been keeping themselves busy with other musical adventures, frontman Nathan releasing his Hate EP whilst bassist Lee Love went back to his NWONW roots for the ‘Hold Me Down’ EP. Drummer Des popped up providing the backbeat to one of my favourite records of 2021 with Silent Like A Bomb, and guitarist Ben has been depping on second guitar for Swedish metallers Bullet across a series of summer festival shows. Meanwhile, his partner in six string crime, Austin Rocket has assembled a crack unit of musicians to give us Scene Killers, who in the process, have released 2 filthy dirty slabs of hardcore in the shape of 2020’s ‘Rev It Up’ and this year’s ‘Beat Beat Beat’ (an album seemingly so bowel shakingly disturbing in its ferocity that RPM gaffer Dom Daley even managed to get its title wrong in his recent review…ha!).
Joined by members of the awesome TV Crime and fronted by eccentric singer Jesse Luscious (ex of Blatz, The Criminals) Austin’s silhouette provides the only visual link to his other band as sonically speaking Scene Killers are a world away from the Priests’ black denim blitz. Instead, Scene Killers strike a discordant balance between punk and metal, producing short, sharp, 2-minute blasts of music that sound like they might just fall apart at any minute whilst also stabbing you in the eye in the process. Tonight, the initial sound mix in The Pit doesn’t really do the band any favours with ‘Rev It Up’ sounding more like ‘Reverb It Up’, however once that is sorted the tracks from the band’s all new 9 track platter sound absolutely stunning. It’s impossible to avoid Luscious (who surely would be re-christened “lush hun” here in Newport) as he provokes the audience one on one to singalong to the likes of ‘Gimme Gimme’, ‘Immigrant Eyes’ and savage set closer ‘We’re All Decay’. It’s all over way to quickly in a blur of feedback, distortion and sweat, but it’s the only way we want our gigs to end here at RPM. “Leave them wanting more”, that’s what was say….and at just a deep sea to get in tonight I feel like I’ve just witnessed one of the gig bargains of the year. Result!!!
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Author: Johnny ‘ZooportHC’ Hayward!