After missing them here when in Europe last year, then having their appearance at Temples Fest not happen, it was third time lucky for me violently bumping into this crossover crew from the States. Been a while since I’ve been back to the Star and Garter as well, still a gem of an underground venue and was able to savour a pint after a car load of us had driven up from North Wales. There was a good gathering from further afield, testament to the drawing power of the reputation of the band, obviously their connections to their other project Municipal Waste don’t do any harm either.
Local support Forged… announced their presence with some thunder from above so we scaled the stair to check them out. Instantly impressed with a hugely solid distortion tone that really gave their riffs impact, they were also pretty relentless in their speed. Aggressive metal to the core but there is also enough evidence of other input like grind and crust to really hit the spot. Powerful vocals, a bit less sure of the banter, but a great set to start with.
With a name like Denim And Leather I was expecting some tongue in cheek retro metal but got something quite different, in what seemed to be a Marmite experience for a lot. After the proceeding exercise in precision this was a more loose and lo-fi garage punk affair, where heart and nihilistic freedom were more evident. There was quite a variety within their set, from some Joy Division post punk through to some more raw hardcore, and the frontman was both messy and uncompromising, but ultimately not sure it was for me.
Although they had been reported as worse for wear earlier there was no sign of that when the headliners, Iron Reagan stormed the stage, and from the first riff there was pit mayhem. The mix of hyper thrashing and hardcore groove chorus shout-alongs is perfect for part, soon the surf and the diving is up too. While they are regarded as a more serious entity than ”The ‘Waste”, more politically orientated as the name might suggest, they still mix up metal cliché silliness with their more hard hitting material. Out of the blue we get an old school Cannibal Corpse song that fits right in, singer Tony gets a handful of piggy-backers to have their first “chicken fight” and then we‘re swept away in the maelstrom of pits again. A great, urgent sound that doesn’t hang around, they seem to be having lots of fun too in “Slamchester”. Well known favourite Miserable Failure we can all sing with without shame, and after an SSD cover, they close with another killer Eyeball Gore. It a short and sharp set, I don’t think most of us elderly types could have taken much more, but a splendid exercise in friendly violent fun.