Thrash Hits

February 11th, 2010

Photos + Live: Surfaces @ Brighton Engine Room – 07 February 2010

Sundays? What are the good for? Asolutely fuck all (unless you’re enjoying one of our Slaylists, of course). Well, last weekend, Andy Parker found some solace from the shittest day of the week at Surfaces’ gig down in Brighton.

Sunday shows are always a gamble. More often than not, the punters are spread far and wide across the dance floor in fear of standing too close to the stage and relenting the return to work the following day, so I am highly impressed as I arrive on a windswept, corner of Brighton seafront, home to the sleaziest of the cities venues, Engine Room to find a near sold out status.

Among The Wolves have a shaky start, to no real fault of their own, with the ritualistic Engine Room sound fuck ups. Guitars kick in and out, the vocals are all over the shop as they strive to put in motion their menace. After some cable waggling and a rather uncomfortable pause, things start to pick up. It’s just a shame that they sound so loose despite giving an intense performance. Certainly one to watch for in the future with an album due in June.

Next up we have The Roskov Landing, again a relatively new band on the scene featuring former front man of post-rock legends Steal Back Your Life, a band I have no qualms with saying, fucking owned before splitting up a few years back. For those who witnessed SBYL touring with their peers (Meet Me In St Louis, Second Smile) you wont be too surprised to find frantic riffery with jagged, piercing guitars and some fuzzed up bass at the forefront of their arsenal. What excites me is that their music is transmitted via some kind of audio machine gun that penetrates you whenever your guard is down.


Surfaces @ Brighton Engine Room photo gallery courtesy of Andy Parker.

Main support comes from London’s tech-metal export The Safety Fire. I nearly shit a lung. They’re quite clearly a collection of immensely talented musicians but once again are blighted by a fucking mic lead, with their initial tracks get wiped away from memory as the engineer gets death stares from everyone waiting for something to get fixed. Finally a lead is changed and vocalist Sean Mcweeney is unleashed.

The dynamics in each track are impeccable, stage presence is phenomenal, the boys rock it hard and I find myself getting drawn into every movement and jittering resolve. I am left with a catchy vocal harmony that I later discover is from the track ‘Dmb’ from their Sections EP released last year.

Surfaces’ intro has barely ended before everyone is barged towards the bar, the nearest wall, or into the nearest adjacent person by the ‘kool kids’ arms and legs flailing in all directions. Although their antics are akin to whopping your cock out before reaching the urinal merely to strutt about with your your limp excuse of a babymaker drooping out the fly of your skinny-fit (women’s) jeans, the slam dancers roll up the sleeves of their sweaters (sweaters?), hoping a similarly micro-dicked peacock will approach them to engage in a homo-erotic wrestle.

Watch a “video” to ‘Voices and Lies’ by Surfaces

Despite my disliking of windmilling and floor punching, it reminds me as to why I fell in love with Surfaces. There’s something about vocalist Joe Sinclair that makes people going completely and uncontrollably bat shit. Chaotic violence, and yet at the same time totally controlled passages explode from his throat. As I looked back from the stage onto the flurry of blows rampaging across the pit I realise, these are the dedicated disciples of Surfaces, each move is orchestrated by the invisible tendrils attached to the puppet strings of Sinclair’s tattooed hands.

The band hammer through some new material which shows the colossal progression they have made over the last 18 months. and it is hot, unrelenting and down right infectious. Deathcore, Metalcore, call it what you want, Surfaces pull out some nasty sounding shit bundle it up in these delicate melodies and driven rhythms before bowling it towards you faster than you can call for backup.

After the closing notes of my personal favourite, ‘This Broken Black’, ring out, the band are baited by the crowd for more – they don’t have any. Not defeated by this fact, they run back through ‘Land Of The Dreams’ which I pray finds its way onto a new release in 2010. before the lights go up my ears begin to ring uncontrollably, my knees begin to buckle, eye’s start to tunnel in and I have to seek daylight stumbling towards the escape hatch.


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