Reading Festival: Issues

R&B, nu metal and metalcore collide in The Pit with surprising results

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Minutes before Atlanta, Georgia’s Issues arrive on stage, their name is being repeatedly chanted by a bustling crowd in The Pit tent.

The air is thick with anticipation for the band’s first Reading appearance and when they take to the stage the crowd roars as they kick into Personality Cult from their self-titled debut released this year. An even bigger scream welcomes vocalist Tyler Carter and his ridiculous clothes as he joins co-vocalist Michael Bohn to trade off sickly sweet R&B vocals with deep screams atop a mountain of breakdowns and DJ scratching.

If it sounds baffling, that’s because it is. Genres that would previously have never even exchanged glances are now bedfellows throughout modern music and somehow, Issues manage to pull of this marriage of mosh and melody in such a way that it drives audiences wild. Tyler Carter has more in common with Nick and Aaron Carter than Frank Carter, yet his band are third from the top of the bill of the heaviest tent at Reading, but there is a reason for this - aside from the R&B element, Issues are HEAVY. This is heard on the massive King of Amarillo and Mad At Myself and it’s heavy enough to cause chaos in the audience, with pits opening up on both sides of the tent.

Life Of A Nine continues their chug assault on the crowd and the way that Issues piece songs together has to be applauded. They will be mocked by metalheads and fobbed off as a fad without a second listen, but for those looking for a fix of something heavy with masses of pop sensibility, Issues give you both in one concentrated hit.