Bury Tomorrow

support Bury Tomorrow + Not Advised + Our Time Down Here + Burn The Fleet + Fever Season + A Word Like Attack
author TL date 22/01/10 venue The Mo Club, Southampton, UK

To celebrate the opening of a new mid-size venue in Southampton, the Mo'Club, its owners had gathered the finest the town has to offer in alternative rock, indie, hardcore, pop punk and metal bands to kick things off the ground, and despite just one of these bands enjoying international exposure, the turnout was impressive; the venue almost packed. Unfortunately in our usual style we managed to miss the first band, A Word Like Attack, and possibly also Towers, although I seem to remember the other bands expressing their sorrow over Towers being forced to cancel their performance this night. Nonetheless, check out both bands on MySpace, and my sincerest apologies once again for our poor time management. Let me also express my gratefulness to the Mo'Club for serving Tuborg on tap (a rare find in Southampton's bars and venues), and while we're rambling, let me also mention that TL has contributed half the reviews for this article.

This review was originally compiled by AP, but since he went on vacation in Egypt while we were still waiting for photos from Benji, it has been edited and posted by TL. Towers did in fact not play tonight, as Benji's photos show, but since he was there from the beginning, you can still see some sweet shots of A Word Like Attack if you scroll down to the bottom of this article, and click the gallery link! (The gallery is massive this time by the way!)

Fever Season

The first band we get to see at The Mo'Club tonight is Fever Season, a four piece who takes the stage looking rather indie, which gives me some relief, as I would've probably had to facepalm if the night had been, as I wrongfully expected, a parade of local identikit scene-core outfits. Truthfully though, just because Fever Season manage to defy my preconceptions, doesn't mean that they put in a stellar performance. In fact, there's quite a way between them and that, as they treat us to a set of very similar and simplistic songs. Things bounce off at very familiar, danceable and up-tempo beats, while the guitar parts seem more about rhythmic strumming of a few chords, than about much technicality or effect, and predictably things tend to 'explode' somewhere mid-song, with the strumming speeding up to double pace, and the singer stretching his voice an octave or so. It wouldn't be bad per se, if it wasn't because the same approach has been done to death by britrock band upon britrock band for years on end, and Fever Season bring little variation to the table. Instead they bring a singer that seems slightly over-matched when reaching for some of the higher notes, and a guitarist that looks oddly uneasy (possibly: drunk) on stage. It doesn't help either, that the most interesting melodies in each song, tend to come from a sampled synth, rather than from an instrument that's actually being wielded on stage. That being said, if you lean back, close your eyes, and don't mind the small flaws or the lack of variation, it's not flat out poor music you're listening to. It's just hardly anything special either.

TL

Burn The Fleet

So yeah, my initial joy at seeing something else than scene-core is immediately dampened somewhat, so that when Burn The Fleet come on, sporting looks that doesn't subscribe to any particular label, I'm not quite sure if that's a good sign or not. So they give me a hint - As frontman/bassist/singer Andrew Convey suddenly steps forward, raises his free hand, and the crowd responds to the gesture by crying out "PREPARE THE SAILS", kicking off the first song (which I have later learned is called "Nautilus"). From that second on, Burn The Fleet have my full attention, and they repay it in kind. Ambitious post-hardcore songs flow with great length and little effort, as brooding melodies interplay with abrasive breaks, and Convey duels on vocal duty with guitarist James Swabey - Convey crooning emotively in a similar manner to Dustin Kensrue and Dallas Green, while Swabey delivers a roaring 'drunken sailor routine' that would make made Jimmy Stadt (of Polar Bear Club) proud. The music is similar to the promising Scream! Shout! Say Nothing disc I reviewed a while ago, but not only does it sound awesome, it is also delivered in a show that has all the perks of a homecoming party. The crowd is absolutely loving Burn The Fleet, and Burn The Fleet are absolutely loving to play for them. Convey is one big happy face, as his lines are matched by a choir of stretched voices in the front, and us people in the back - well, I can only speak for myself, but if justice exists, then all would, like me, wish they knew the words so they could shout along as well. The thought strikes me, that this could be what it was like to watch Thrice while they were still a little known secret of the underground, and that I think is as much merit as most bands can hope to make on an unfamiliar listener.

TL

Our Time Down Here

Despite our skepticism at the band's musical competences at first, Our Time Down Here manage to deliver an invigorating half an hour of high-octane hardcore punk in the vein of Comeback Kid and others like them. Singer Will Gould spends most of his time at the crowd barrier, or simply surfing in the crowd in expected, but no less commendable punk fashion - something that dominates this band's performance. It is punk as fuck, ticking all the right boxes from gang shouts to incomprehensibly fast, high pitched singing, to straightforward songs that rarely exceed the one-and-a-half-minute mark. This is a little difficult to digest at first, as both TL and I agree that the first batch of songs sounds kind of stale and unmemorable, but the band owns the stage and the crowd in such a fashion that we cannot but submit to admitting that even if this kind of music says nothing to us, this is the kind of show that earns high marks in punk rock circles. And if we weren't before, both of us are sold when the band's performs a competent cover of "At Your Funeral" by Saves The Day at twice the normal speed, and follows it up with a series of their own songs which sound far superior to the earlier ones in the set in terms of originality.

8
AP

Not Advised

After something of a punk rock surprise, I'm finding myself in a rather excellent mood, having had a few pints too, and now that the next band is pop-punk, a genre I actually really like, how can things really go wrong? Unfortunately, Not Advised come on and pull a show that displays exactly what can go wrong. They may get a fair reception - mainly from the female part of tonight’s audience - but to anyone who's ever dived in the pop-punk seas, it is painfully obvious from halfway through the first song, that Not Advised have nothing original to offer the genre, nor do they even perform it that well. Every verse, chorus, buildup, bridge and break sounds like something you've heard a million times before, from bands both British, American and Swedish, all trying to become the next All Time Low, and their front man even tries to imitate the oh-so-popular nasal singing style - to say he comes off uninspired is far from the truth, annoying, would be closer to it. They play some three or four songs, part after part of which it's possible to predict even though you've never heard their material, and with no memorable choruses to speak of, and as they do, I find myself asking yet another question: Could these guys possibly be ANY more cliché? So they cover Michael Jackson as a tribute. Honestly, I'm serious, I can't make this shit up. Not to mention the unspeakable level of 'corny' such an act involves, they try to pop-punk-ify "Man In The Mirror" with a singer who sounds like a b-rate Nick Thompson (Hit The Lights) and the result is nothing short of atrocious. Suffice to say, I facepalmed, both hands involved, and while I have to leave a few grades alive, considering Not Advised's confident appearance and sufficient ability to follow the 'how to manufacture a pop punk band' formula to the t, I want to extend a comment to fellow writer Daniel Roe. Dan, if this is the kind of pop punk you're normally treated to over in your country, then all of the sudden I understand your distaste for the genre. Music only for little girls who'd clone All Time Low a thousand times over if they could. Fuck. Terrible.

TL

Bury Tomorrow

What better band to finish off the festivities than Southampton's finest international export. I have grown to expect nothing short of quality from these local lads, and even if the band is trying a little too hard tonight to impress, this is no exception. Jason has trouble clutching the right pitch during opener "You & I", but such issues are remedied come track two, when he begins to seem more comfortable and dares to experiment with his parts instead of delivering note-by-note renditions of the band's studio recordings. Daniel dominates the venue in his usual style, oozing confidence and exerting a kind of power over the crowd that leads us to submissive headbanging, moshing and circle pit forming on cue - but unfortunately his convincing stage antics come at a cost: he runs out of breath too often and is forced to deliver some of the more impressive growled parts in that annoying spoken word style (like Oli Sykes sometimes does). Such things are easy to ignore, however, when we are given an exclusive airing of a new song, "Wax Wings" (I think), which features some mouthwatering instrumentation from guitarist Mehdi, as well as some chilling singing courtesy of Jason. Speaking of which, both "These Woods Aren't Safe For Us" and "Casting Shapes" are delivered with a passion unlike ever before, which suggests these two older tracks are the dearest for not just the audience, but also for the band members. Still, this performance does not feel as convincing as the three before, though still well worth an:

8
AP

Setlist:

01. You & I

02. Evolution of Self

03. Her Bones in the Sand

04. Repair the Lining

05. Anything With Teeth

06. Wax Wings (new song)

07. These Woods Aren't Safe For Us

--Encore--

08. Confessions

09. Casting Shapes

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