Direct Hit!

support Dead Actions
author PP date 10/10/13 venue Underwerket, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Thursday evening in Copenhagen and I find myself by the basement style UnderWerket once again to witness a punk band that definitely needs more recognition than they are currently getting in this country. A few handful of people have gathered around in the hopes of an experience as magical as The Menzingers show earlier this year at this very venue, which is never to manifest itself despite the best intentions of the band throughout. But more on that soon, there's a support band to dissect, after all.

Dead Actions

Dead Actions

Dead Actions is a brand new rock'n'roll outfit based in Copenhagen, which counts Hjertestop vocalist Las Ballade among its members, who has been very active in the music scene surrounding Ungdomshuset for almost a decade. Tonight, he fronts this band with attitude, grit, and passion, arguably presenting himself with a rock star look that can only be achieved through playing countless shows in different bands in the past. He's got a great set of rough pipes that fit the rock'n'roll driven approach of Dead Actions very well. Unfortunately, he could do with a much better backing band, who mostly spend the show standing still and, in the first few songs, struggling with technical problems where one of their guitarist's breaks three strings almost immediately, continuing to set up his guitar while the band goes onto the third song in the meantime. Where this guy looks like he could appear on a stage several multiples bigger than tonight easily, the rest of the band look rather amateurish and inexperienced in comparison, which leads into several awkward silences between the songs. Towards the end, they dedicate "Stab You In The Face" to an ex-girlfriend, which is particularly humorous considering the song turns out to be a catchy, happy rocker with such morbid lyrics on the side. Their final song features a few jumps from the guitarists and bassists - but where was this energy during the rest of the set? The band looked tight here, but not so much earlier. Decent, but way too inexperienced yet for the crowd to get anything long-lasting out of it.

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Direct Hit! & the crowd

Direct Hit!

Direct Hit!'s sophomore album "Brainless God" is one of the best pop punk records this year, which is why it's a shame to see it portrayed in such a bad light for the majority of tonight. The sound at UnderWerket is seldom something to write home about, but for almost half of Direct Hit!'s set tonight, it is completely off, leaving the vocals either off-tune, too loud, too quiet, or the lead guitar largely missing from the soundscape. For a record that's as polished and clean as "Brainless God", whenever anything sounds less-than-perfect it sticks out like a sore thumb, which is evident in the confused and slightly awkward looks on the faces of the audience as I glance around the venue. Thankfully, the worst problems are eventually resolved and we can get at least a decent sound going on at the venue, which still doesn't do full justice to Direct Hit!'s ridiculously catchy songs, but at least gives them a chance to get the crowd going.

Direct Hit! ending - vocalist hanging from rafters

Most people are content just hanging about in their own spaces, though, nodding their head to the rhythm of the high-energy onslaught being displayed on stage, which sees Direct Hit! play their hearts out with exactly the kind of showmanship you'd expect from a no-frills pop punk band. Think a few funny jokes, mostly no breaks in between songs, and just fun, catchy songs with a no-bullshit attitude throughout, and a non-stop energetic stance that doesn't necessarily include jumping, but does mean every band member is drenched in sweat by the time the show is over. Speaking of which, the band finish the gig off in style: they announce they're gonna play one more song, and ask everyone to join them on stage, which quickly becomes a chaotic sing-along moment where people crash into each other. Eventually, the vocalist ends up crowd surfing on top of the people on stage, hanging from the rafters singing the final lyrics to the song. In the end, it's a show where Direct Hit! do everything right, but just suffer from adverse conditions to make the show count for more than it does in the minds of the audience.

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Photos by: Peter Troest

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