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Beartooth / '68 / Blood Youth

Hardcore punk crew make a stunning stand

It’s a youthful and exuberant crowd in large numbers that greet BLOOD YOUTH [7] tonight.

And, even though their hardcore is fairly rudimentary, they match that energy to kick the gig off in fine style. ’68 [7] don’t get quite so much immediate love, but by the end they leave as conquering heroes. The two-piece make a lot of oppressive noise, and for some of the more youthful audience members it just draws confused looks, but when they tap into the spirit of Nirvana and At The Drive-In (they cover the former’s Tourette’s and throw in a snippet of the latter’s Invalid Litter Dept.) you can’t resist the white-hot, kinetic energy spewing from the stage.

Those growth hormones really did the trick...

Those growth hormones really did the trick... (Image credit: Will Ireland)

One of the standout bands of the last year, BEARTOOTH [8] do things differently to their contemporaries. They begin by getting everyone to sit down before a note of music has been played, then, when frontman Caleb Shomo is satisfied with the silence, launch into The Lines. From then on it’s carnage, onstage and off, as Beartooth lead everyone through a singalong of highlights from their excellent debut album Disgusting, the walls shaking during Beaten In Lips.

Body Bag closes a breakneck 45 minutes and the floor of The Electric Ballroom swirls one last time. It’s a celebratory end to the year for a band who, on this evidence, are only going to get bigger.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.