No Hawaii

support Justin Hate
author AP date 19/03/11 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

What better way to commence a night out than set it on fire with some high octane metal and hardcore? It seems that the answer to this question, for most Copenhagen based metal heads, is something else, because the amount of audience drawn in by the up-and-coming sludge/post-metal band No Hawaii clocks in at 30 at the very most. It's good to see the Danish metal scene unified and supporting one another at least: both Artem Kushnirenko (vocalist of New Discolour) and Martin Nielskov (vocalist of The Psyke Project) are in attendance - the former dragged along by the undersigned, and the latter here with one of his protegés.

Justin Hate

Whoever decided this was a good band name should be shot. On the bright side, their metallic hardcore with Danish flavorings is not as disastrous as it looks on paper, sounding like As We Fight and Hatesphere in their youth. Vocalist Kim Rock, in particular, gets the slime groomed out of his lungs with some seriously impressive high-pitch screaming reminiscent of Jacob Bredahl, occasionally even ensuring us that his range is as broad as they come with leaps into deep growling and aggressive shouting. The remaining musicians remain as backdrops as Kim assumes the empty arc of territory spanning before the stage, and as such, their sparse movements go largely unnoticed - and the simplistic instrumentation that governs most songs is not acting in their favor. Nonetheless, with Mr. Rock compensating as best he can for these shortcomings, Justin Hate manage to pull of a decent, entertaining set; one received with considerable enthusiasm by the near-vacant venue.

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No Hawaii

No Hawaii, a relatively unknown sludge/post-metal outfit from Gothenburg, Sweden, put out an impressive debut album in "Snake My Charms" last year. It blended streaks of Mastodon, shades of The Ocean and pigments of Isis into a proficient, mathematically challenging piece of music which extends the proud legacy of the band's home town. New Gothenburg metal bands must be under enormous pressure not to soil the town's reputation; however, No Hawaii seem to have coped well and managed to carve out their own narrow niche among the NeurIsises of this world. Live, too, the band provides decent entertainment value - particularly on stage right, where one guitarist seems to have confused his band with some raucous hardcore punk crew. His antics are the sort you watch and behold; unfortunately the remaining members seem far less keen to follow suite. But no matter, as simply attempting to identify a tangible time signature in No Hawaii's music is a chore that requires one's full, undivided attention. Indeed, No Hawaii is better listened to than watched, and given the rhythmic syncopation and complex progressive structure of their music, complaining about the various band members not dangling from the ceiling or burning down amp stacks would be foolish. The songs are vast, immersive and hypnotic; the kind that demand some kind of visual counterpart projected onto a backdrop. Alas, such elaborate imaginings are nowhere to be seen, probably because of the band's short span of existence and the lack of proper finance accompanying, and the crowd - considerably thinner even, than during Justin Hate - is left meandering in the imagery conjured by the band's songs. Not bad, but here's hoping that in the future, No Hawaii will invest more in the live component of their music.

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