Kill The Rooster

support The National Shut Up + The Revolt Of Darwin
author AP date 22/07/10 venue Lades Kælder, Copenhagen, DEN

The second night in the punk extravaganza leading up to the main event, Bad Religion, was in turn a local showcase featuring some of Copenhagen's finest punk acts and the enigmatic bourbon hardcore act Revolt of Darwin. Not that I want to reveal too much in this obligatory opening paragraph, but the musicianship and performing prowess that I bore witness to this night has restored my faith in local bands' ability to stand up and give us our money's worth even when the show is free. And that is not an insult to the bands - I am not saying your music is worth fuck all, but the crisis that Lades inflicts on my private economy demands satisfaction. And you, dear bands, have all given that to me, so this is what I'm going to give to you:

The Revolt Of Darwin

While the other two bands on tonight's bill are household names in the Copenhagen punk scene, The Revolt of Darwin are seldom seen in its basement clubs. In fact the last time members of this webzine saw them live was almost two years ago, supporting Daron Malakian's Scars On Broadway and judging from the review, we had reason to look forward to doing so again. And quite right - even though the band's bassist Alexander has been forced to sit the show out tonight as he is out of the country - The Revolt of Darwin are something to behold on stage. Their explosive demeanor is the perfect complement to their songs, which are generally a brief, extremely fast hardcore punk affair with a strong Southern influence (think a more punk Every Time I Die and early Maylene). Obviously the absence of bass in the mix means treble domination, which dissuades me from forming a final opinion on the band's music, but the songs, pulled at random from a hat by various members of the audience, sound like a certain Ukrainian reader's cup of tea and I must say, quite enjoyable to me as well. Mainly my focus rests on devouring the amount of energy and enthusiasm that the band has on stage and wishing more Danish bands put some thought into how to deliver their product in a live setting. Based on this show, The Revolt of Darwin have earned a spot on my incoming radar.

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The National Shut Up

Despite the continuous hype machine that the editor of this webzine is operating on The National Shut Up, the band has never managed to tickle my curiosity enough to hop on the bandwagon. Still, here yours truly stands for the third time, expecting, as usual, not to be surprised. But as soon as this foursome steps on stage and launches into their set, my jaw drops to the ground. Not only do the songs sound better, they are also played louder and with more conviction than ever before, nevermind the general lack of enthusiasm on the crowd side. Listening to these songs in a live setting suddenly, unexpectedly, leads me toward an epiphany and suddenly, just as unexpectedly, the band owns up to the hype. Gone are the glitches that shine all too brightly in the recorded material; in their place are dual vocals executed in perfect harmony and a passion that can only be attributed to a band who believe wholeheartedly in their music instead of trying to cash in on current trends. Songs like "Smearing Lipstick", "Bodybuilder Boyfriend", "Clara" and "Ann" have never sounded better. Worst show they've ever done, according to our dear editor in chief, perhaps because the band isn't as high on energy as on previous occasions, but I still become convinced that had The National Shut Up been formed 15 years ago somewhere else than Denmark, they would be superstars in league with Blink 182 by now.

Kill The Rooster

Kill The Rooster, too, is one of those bands that has never said much to me, but tonight it seems that some kind of sacred pact has been signed which demands that from this point on, Danish punk bands must earn grades above a specified minimum threshold lest they'll face the gallows. Because Kill the Rooster, too, are like a band reborn, connecting with the audience like seasoned veterans and instigating the evening's first mass singalongs (as far as such a thing is possible in a venue this tiny) and moshpits during most songs, especially crowd-pleasers "Let Me Go" and "Silver John". Kill The Rooster's strongest asset is their music - a far more diverse affair than that of The National Shut Up's - but the band refuses to come second to anyone tonight, finding even more passion within than the aforementioned pop punkers, and delivering their trade with even more conviction. Finally, I'm thinking, there are bands in the local scene that rival those packing out the Joiners in Southampton every night; bands that have genuine potential. If this is what we can expect from future Kill the Rooster gigs, you can sign me up as a regular - as long as that also means cheaper pints because my wallet cries every time at Lades.

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