Leeds currently has a killer underground music scene, and it's the loud section of said scene that is particularly exciting. At Nation Of Shopkeepers, we had four bands that are proof that Leeds is a great city music-wise, especially when it comes to making a racket.
Starting things off were Groak with their colossal sludge/drone music. Their guitar and bass tones were so thick that each chord strum was a goliath's footstep impacting the immediate surroundings. The occasional blastbeat of drums going at the speed of light added to the band's fire and made it all the more dynamic. Lugubrious Children were more on the quicker side of metal, playing short and speedy grindcore with ear piercingly sharp vocals and raw, distorted guitars at a hyperactive and uncaged rhythm. They threw in the occasional brief seconds of groove and slower riffs so tough they made you want to headbang with your whole body.
Pink Rick ticked every box and didn't cut a single corner when it came to giving everything you could want of a noise/experimental rock band. With unpredictable beats, wild guitars and stomach-winding low chords, the songs were plenty long enough to fit many off kilter riffs into each. Smooth yet strong basslines maintained the flow and the performance was all there with guitarist Lewis Millward ending the set in a frenzied mania, drilling his fingers up and down the fretboard.
Now on to the main event. Famine had the grindcore vibe going for them like Lugubrious Children and the insane stage presence like Pink Rick, but these guys took frantic to a new level. From the get go they got the crowd moving, the frontman on the floor shrieking and growling like a dying banshee. Meanwhile the pummelling drums injected adrenaline alongside the energetic, punchy riffs. The vocalist told the crowd something along the lines of "feel free to make some movement" and people accepted his invitation to go mental, slamming into one another and even forming a human pyramid amidst the chaos. Their set is done in about twenty minutes, but Famine only needed a minute or two to exhilarate their audience, and indeed many were left sweaty and feeling like they've just had a blast.
Tonight was a collection of killer bands, each one having something to set them apart from the others. Groak showed off their muscle, Lugubrious Children had no patience, Pink Rick were weird and wonderful, then Famine were just utter madness. All these bands deserve your attention, so get to the next show any of them are playing.
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