This weekend Slam Dunk Festival comes rolling into Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton for a Bank Holiday weekend of punk and metal. But with seven stages to choose from throughout the day, who the hell are you supposed to go and see? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Consistently one of the best live acts thanks to both their uncontrollable energy and the room-filling post-hardcore noise that is made for stages like Slam Dunk. No, they’re not headlining the main stage, but they’re sub-heading the Monster Stage which we guarantee will be a sweatpit and packed out for a band who are so unpredictable it’s a welcome surprise if frontman Jason Aalon Butler is actually on stage. If you’ve never seen these guys before, we can’t recommend them enough.
For a band you’ve seen floating around the one-dayers, you could be forgiven for thinking Bury Tomorrow are just doing the Slammy D rounds again – but this is in fact the first time they’ve played, and they’re bloody headlining the Monster Stage! For a band with such a passionate and ferocious fanbase, this is going to be one hell of an introduction. We’re just hoping some new material gets an airing.
The Aussie metalcore fist-pumpers have only recently returned to the fray with their third full-length Beloved, but don’t expect these guys to be suffering any stage rust as they come kicking and screaming into Slam Dunk. If you’re a fan of bleeding ears and crowdsurfing then get your arse down to IKTPQ. Serious.
What can we say about these guys that you don’t already know? One of the most intense live bands in the UK, you’re odds on to leave the venue in more pieces than when you walked in – if you can indeed walk out. New album The Sorrow And The Sound has scarcely left our stereo and when the pit opens to Give Up, frontman Lee Tobin will be leading the charge.
The Los Angeles bruisers are returning to the UK for Slam Dunk and are no doubt bringing their arsenal of beatdowns with them. Warm your voicebox up beforehand as you’ll need to be on call for gang vocal duty throughout as the metalcore merchants thrash out big guns like Engine 45 and Faith Or Forgiveness.
You might not know the Landscapes guys but they’ve amassed a strong, cult-like following in British hardcore that’s been on the verge of exploding for years. Their raw emotion pouring out of every speaker on stage is matched by the dedicated crowd that gathers at festivals like this Slam Dunk. Sure, they’re not household names, but that doesn’t stop them putting on one kick-ass live show.
Away from the portmanteau world of adding ‘core’ to everything, Heart Of A Coward are straight up metal. Hailing from Milton Keynes, they’ve been mainstays of metal festivals around the world who can cut it with the best of ‘em. And with the powerful aggression of last year’s Severance album behind them, they’re the perfect wake up call.
Marmozets are a tricky one. While some of you might believe they don’t belong in Hammer, let’s not forget their beginnings as a mathy Fall Of Troy/Rolo Tomassi hybrid that left countless venues speechless after their riotous set of screams and flailing around on strings. Now they’re more ‘accessible’, but that doesn’t stop them trying to shatter your synapses on stage.
Since releasing their debut album almost a decade ago (we know!), TDWP have honed their metalcore craft from the days of a band trying to find their feet in songs like HTML Rulez D00d to the much more hungrier and experienced beast with last year’s 8:18. If you’re after crushing beatdowns to punch floors to, then get your arse over here.
Flying the flag for Germany are the purveyors of brutal metalcore, Caliban. Much closer to the metal than the ‘core, this is the time for you headbangers to show off your neck muscles. Slotting in between Heart Of A Coward and IKTPQ in the early afternoon, these guys are going to be pumped up and raring to peel your faces off.