Saturday, 16 February 2013

F*ck me Djently. Hacktivist Live At The Borderline - Review

Hacktivist *****

Neck Deep *****

Eager Teeth ***1/2**

The Borderline, Tuesday 12th February 2013

A lot of buzz about tonight’s main act. And deservedly so. 

Only just having had my gonads glued back on after they’d been savagely ripped off by Hacktivist on their recent Basick Records support slot for The Algorithm, I’m looking forward to  some more brutalisation.

But, before the genital removal could start in earnest, the pre-med and preparation needs to be administered. And, tonight pre-surgery is in the hands of a couple of lively young bunches of scamps and scallies, Neck deep and, first up, Eager Teeth.

Eager Teeth ***1/2**

On with the surgical gloves for a buoyant and vibrant scrub down at the hands of Brighton’s latest young noiseniks Eager Teeth. Despite some tech gremlins (blamed on lizards that plague the crust of the earth - couple of sherberts before the set lads?) they produce an energetic melange of post hardcore, punky, alt jaunt, flame, farts and fun. There’s a Billy Talent vibe just beneath the surface but fused with a punkier, more shambling edge stuck together by some strong harmonic superglue. 

There’s humour, wit, harmony, energy and a beguiling front man who even mentions Herpetologists in his banter plus a hearty, noisy paean to Hall And Oates. Don’t ask. But all good.

All-in-all a fine attempt to get the early arrivals fully prepared for the impending onslaught. 

Neck Deep *****

Next in the ante-room to further shave the patients down are North Walian pop punk peddlars Neck Deep. Not straying too far from the well-worn pop punk formulae path, they fizz through a brusque and breathless set with de rigeur double time, gang vox, gruff, nihilism and rebounding, frantic guitar spanking. 

Nothing really new to see here, a tad predictable, but in a crowded scene, they seem to have got enough to put a green king sized Rizzla between themselves and the rest of the busy gnarly UK pack. File alongside Our Time Down Here, Real Adventures and maybe clinging onto the coat tails of the mighty Gnarwolves. Feisty, furious and with a firm fanbase who get the pyramids, hardcore moves and moshing going to warm things up in the theatre nicely.

Hacktivist *****

Finally, time for the back street abortionists, sawbones and murky sewer surgeons to come and play, torture, rip and eviscerate. This most unholy of mash up of heavy as Uranium Djent and full-on grime just shouldn’t work. Tech and lyrics. Bombs and spit. Maths and poetry. Arse-widening ten string tune-downs and ridiculously tight proggy rhythmic uppercuts melded with street preaching, anti-social, socially aware dissenting right hooks. Mad. But brilliant.

To be fair to the boys, they haven’t garnered enough schtick yet for a full headline set, but tonight they put together a short but brilliant, bewildering and surgically spot-on display which at times is so filthy you can almost smell the festering infection.

This is brave music. And supremely calculated. There’s no accidental fusion here. The constituent elements and ingredients are carefully measured and scientifically centrifugued to create a mind-altering, organ-rearranging compound of dizzying strength.

Tonight, they flaunt all of their publicly-facing oeuvre from the clever sing-along infectiousness of the eponymous Hacktivist, thru the brutal majesty of New Age, the amazing cover of Niggas In Paris and culminating with the mighty Cold Shoulders. All met with pits of frenzy and fingers in the air from a totally assaulted and defiled pit.

Hacktivist’s vision, braveness, bile and brilliance truly sets them apart from, well, just about everyone and anyone else at the moment. And with a support tour coming for the ever-brilliant and original Enter Shikari (whose very own deck fumbler Rob finishes off the twitching bodies with a brutal DJ set tonight), they’ll be able to show off their savage sorcery and surgery to more and more willing patients leaving guts spilled, heads split and ball sacks torn off all over our green and pleasant land. What treats.

Here's a brief clip of some of that filthy sewer surgery in action. Lignocaine at the ready:

Deftones, Don Broco, Mallory Knox and Hey Vanity next.

More tunes soon, Bwoooar!

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