VANS OFF THE WALL TOUR | LIVE REVIEW
Solus, Cardiff University Students’ Union
Thurs 11 Oct
words GARETH PIERCE
Marmozets (****) have got a pretty good buzz going at the moment, and Solus is impressively full for an opening act. Any hype, however, is entirely justified – their Rolo Tomassi-meets-Sikth throwdowns thrillingly led by Becca Macintyre, whose vocal range swings impressively from disarmingly sweet to shapeshiftingly guttural. Not even a dislocated knee can stop her and, with a mean age of about 18, this band are as young as their rabid following and continue to develop at an alarmingly impressive rate.
With backwards baseball caps and 90s US skate kid stylings, Your Demise (***) take their cues from bands like Biohazard, Municipal Waste and Downset. It’s a less fashionable take on hardcore than many of the current crop of British punk bands, but it’s a more than passable impersonation. Ed McRae’s vocals are nowhere near high enough in the mix, but he toils energetically and can certainly work a crowd. Also, bonus points to any band with Breaking Bad-themed merchandise. “Yeah, bitch” t-shirts abound.
The sound continues to falter as We Are The In Crowd (**) begin but, feedback or no feedback, their output is as vapid and banal as their name warns you it might be. It’s a push to call it anything but pop, but the crowd’s reaction signals that this is what teenage girls scream at since Brand New started writing good music, and they’ll doubtless be as big as Paramore within a year. One can only hope they act as a sort of gateway drug.
Young Guns (****) emerge with expectation already at fever pitch before the lights have even come up. The band have been touring hard in recent years and it shows – theirs is an assured display which keeps the crowd rapt throughout, peaking with a triumphant Towers (On My Way) and a supremely well-judged Adele cover (Set Fire To The Rain). They are at their most vital during their more driven, riffier numbers, but they do euphoric super-choruses admittedly well, and only a handful of killjoys (yes, I’m one of them) keep their light sources in their pockets during ballad You Are Not.