(review by MWJ)
Ah, on a rainy summer evening what better way to brighten the outlook than some hardcore punk.
Locals “…Twats” feature member(s?) of L98 and are really at the stage they were at several months ago. Early days of finding their direction, chaotic/sloppy songs, embarrassed/indifferent stage presence and crowd response. Fast but samey ska-punk riffs, into mad shouty hardcore, vaguely brought Dr and The Crippens to mind but not in good comparison. Self-deprecating lyrics deflecting the abuse inevitably coming their way, don’t know if anything can develop from this or with a name like that if they ever intend that it would, but in a small dose it’s ok.
Another set of escapees from Holyhead, Adrenalin Talkin’ demonstrated that there could well be a justified place for quality covers bands amongst the original punk artistes that grace this place, as long as it’s not limiting the opportunities for the up-and-coming talent. Once they’d got into their stride they were very well received, giving folks the chance to sing and shout along with some classic but other not necessarily first choice punk hits. A good selection from Stiff Little Fingers, The Exploited, The Clash, amongst others finishing up with the Pistols and Rancid. The delivery was solid if unspectacular, but the songs were appreciated all the same.
Instant Agony have played on a regular basis over here yet still retain the bite to grab your attention, mainly I think due to them being masters of the relentless, their hardcore riffs driving everything on full pelt. Songs are strung together with little break between beyond wailing feedback before it all kicks back in. Catchy and meaningful chorus hooks of the likes of “No Pain, No Gain”, “Think of England”, and “Not my Religion” are delivered in-yer-face by vocalist Hocky, and fair play to him for initiating a bout of rival chest baring, one pair at least being worth seeing (slight pause to pick jaw back up of the floor)
Finally Broken Bones, another well respected name of old, well the 80’s at least. Continuing the hardcore punk vein they had a thrashy metallic edge, short sharp blasts of songs, thundering drums, huge distorted bass maintaining songs under impressive lead guitar solo work. The vocals again hit the spot, opening (and closing the encore) with the simple and effective “F*ck off and die”, other stand outs being “Terrorist Attack”, “Seeing thru my eyes” and the killer “I.O.U. (Nothing)” . As the guitarist also plays with the not too dissimilar Discharge (the bassist doing his moonlighting in Conflict) it gave legitimate access to a couple of quality of covers of theirs, including the fantastic onslaught of “The Possibility of Life’s Destruction”. As a warm-up for the Wasted festival up in Morecambe it certainly seemed to do the job for the band and any locals that might be going up. Alternatively have yerself a Dirty Weekend at The Morville and Dudley Arms in Rhyl in a couple of weeks.