Title Fight

support Dead End Path + Whirr
author PP date 09/05/13 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

We've had a lot of good bands in the past during our All Killer, No Filler club nights, but tonight is a special one for this scribe because Title Fight's latest record, "Floral Green" is arguably the very best record in its genre in the past couple of years. Together with them, the band have brought a slightly unusual combination of support bands, with Whirr's dreamy shoegaze/post-rock dueling against the gruesome moshcore of Dead End Path.

Whirr

Whirr

At first, the inclusion of Whirr in this bill doesn't make any sense. Although they start with whirling riffs that draw synchronous headbanging from the whole band, they quickly descend into a dreamy soundscape that's more about the distant, faded croons of their female vocalist and slow, post-rock-esque buildups than anything else. But then you start recognizing bits and pieces in their music, especially in the guitars department, that recall Title Fight's more experimental songs like "Head In The Ceiling Fan", and it starts to make sense. Perhaps Title Fight are displaying the softer side of their influences to contrast the aggressive hardcore purveyed by Dead End Path later, so when you put the two styles of music together, you actually get an expression that's eerily similar to Title Fight's soundscapes. In any case, once you concentrate enough on Whirr's musical escapades and begin to understand what it is they are trying to build, their performance becomes hypnotic and ethereal, and an oddly fitting introduction to the night.

7

Dead End Path

Dead End Path

Dead End Path are a totally different beast, however, and a much-needed injection of energy to the mood of the audience tonight after the somewhat slow-moving set of Whirr just before. They play a textbook version of hardcore, that is, two-step friendly, groovy, and testosterone driven rather than based on innovative songwriting or pushing the envelope as musicians. But at least they are unashamedly hardcore; their vocalist leads the pit from the stage by constantly two-stepping on the stage, swinging his mic around from its cord, and bouncing with tireless energy that defies his physical size. The vocals are a little bit too low at times, but the band compensates with plenty of movement on stage, which reflects into the crowd equally well. They might not write as solid hardcore as the bigger names in the genre, but this is exactly the wake up call the venue needed before Title Fight's set.

Title Fight

Having seen the first 15 minutes of Title Fight's set at Groezrock last weekend, I'd grown fond of the way that they tease the crowd with a mixture of sound check and notes from the opening riff to "Numb, But I Still Feel It" while inspecting their amps and doing final checkups before starting. That's also how they start their set tonight, and although there's a huge difference between the 4000-5000 people last weekend to the 60 or so people at the venue tonight, it appears as if the band are genuinely surprised at the response exhibited by the crowd tonight. With a set heavily leaning on songs from "Floral Green" and supplemented by the very best material from "Shed" and "The Last Thing You Forget", the newer songs are what elicit the most crowd engagement with everyone who's heard the album intimately packed towards the front of the stage, screaming back the lyrics at the band passionately and with conviction. And why wouldn't they? "Secret Society", "Leaf", "Symmetry", "Calloused", "Like A Ritual" are all amazing songs that will be talked about in years to come.

Title Fight

You can also tell the band knows they've written something special from the way they perform their songs: especially their primary vocalist is so busy moving around his zone at the center of the stage that there are plenty of vocal passages which are either inaudible or barely so simply because he's fallen too far out of reach from the mic in his energetic stance. He's too focused performing the songs with urgency and immediacy to even notice that the crowd fills in the blanks whenever necessary, which is a tell-tale sign of a band that puts its everything into it, especially considering the rest of the band members are underway in similar movement.

Occasionally the band launches into their older stuff, which is faster, brighter, and categorically more melodic hardcore/punk oriented. It never dawned upon me before tonight that whenever their secondary vocalist takes over in songs like "Loud And Clear", their similarity to Lifetime is uncanny in its nature. It's like straight off "Hello Bastards", and I have no idea why I haven't spotted that difference before tonight. This faster material is then directly contrasted by the dreamy "Head In The Ceiling Fan", which works surprisingly well life, especially when it is followed by "Shed" and "27" from their sophomore album. These are both fantastic songs in that they have smashing sing along parts timed with explosive screams, so they work as a great finale where almost everyone still remaining in the crowd forces their way towards the front to sing back every word at the band.

Tonight, we witnessed a band creeping towards a seminal status within a genre on the album tour of their career-defining album.

Setlist: (not necessarily in this order)

  • Numb, But I Still Feel It
  • Secret Society
  • You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You
  • Leaf
  • Symmetry
  • Loud and Clear
  • Safe in Your Skin
  • Lefty
  • Youreyeah
  • Like a Ritual
  • Calloused
  • No One Stays at the Top Forever
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Head in the Ceiling Fan
  • Shed
  • 27

Photos by: Kenny Swan

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