Monday, 17 March 2014

Bleeurgh'd vision - Live Review of Architects at Koko

Architects *****
Stray From The Path ***1/2**
Koko Camden, Friday 14th March 2014

Firstly, apologies to both Landscapes and Northlane. Due to the ever-frustrating club-night enforced early shows at the delicious faux Rococo Koko, I couldn't get to deepest Mornington Crescent early enough to run the rule over either of them.

No matter, there's already a packed pit salivating and drooling waiting for New Yoik's hardcore dahlinks Stray From The Path.

Stray From The Path ***1/2**
Kicking off with Badge And A Bullet, there's no foreplay here. Frenzied fingers plunge straight for the love button. All bounce, brio and heaving heavy hardcore. Drew York leads the assault with guts and gusto, teasing and juicing up the supplicant and breathless crowd.

They pile through seven or eight high octane bounce fests including Negative And Violent, Death Beds and, of course, Damien; which raises the fever pitch in the throbbing and circling pit to dog whistle proportions.

That all said, and despite the obvious energy, vigour and relentless fondling and thrashing, it kind of feels like a solid teenage snog and a bit of a fumble rather than a full on grown up filthy bollock-deep servicing. The delicious Eva Spence's cameo appearance notwithstanding, the whole thing stops a wee bit short of a shuddering climax and merely serves to tighten the testes and get the sap rising further in anticipation for the main rogering that we all hope is coming.

Architects *****
So, the scene is set. The lustful and lubed-up, expectant and heightened crowd assume the position, grit the teeth and spread the legs. This is going to hurt.

Launching into the full-on frenzied Gravedigger -  then, without a breath, dropping into the fearsome C.A.N.C.E.R. from the brilliant new album Lost Forever//Lost together, it's clear Sam and the boys are here to fuck and not to fuck about. The sound is immense, the reaction from the dripping and delirious packed room equally so. Something special is happening here. Something very special.

The assault is relentless. Alpha Omega brings the house down with every syllable sung back with heart and passion by the assembled love-struck sweaty orgy pile. A good smattering of material from the new album including the behemoth Naysayer, is wheeled out alongside work spanning the quintet's decade or so in the game, lending the set a perfect balance between downright brutality with blast beats and colon loosening sub drops and more melodic and harmonic reveries and seductions.

The band themselves admit they've had problems refining or even defining their sound, but whether you file it under metalcore or any other sort of core, on tonight's jaw dropping display, they've landed right on top of whatever game they're in.

Throughout the astonishing performance, engaging frontman Sam Carter comes over as genuinely and charmingly humbled. He thanks the supplicant sweaty bastards in front of him at every opportunity and oozes honestly, humility and integrity.

But despite Carter's warmth and sincerity, he and his four mates continue, unabated, with the violation and destruction of our soft organs. Drew York joins the good time gang bang during Early Grave before the set ends with the triumphant and deeply penetrating Broken Cross.

The crowd is left twitching. Replete. Slightly confused. But ultimately satiated; indeed, the stench of love in the room clings to every fibre and sweaty limb. After a brief metaphorical apres-coital fag, they're back, briefly seducing the febrile throng with the post-rock infused instrumental Red Hypergiant before whipping out the ultimate priapic, throbbing kidney wiper These Colours Don't Run to finally fuck the brains out of what's left functioning among the giddy orgy. 

To hear 1400 or so excited miscreants bellowing in unison ' you fucking pigs' is a genuine bucket list moment and the most pithy and acute encapsulation of just how something so brutal and uncompromising can engender such genuine warmth, love and unity. Breathtaking. Spine tingling. Astonishing.

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