Live Review: Circle Takes The Square, Code Orange Kids, Full Of Hell and Esoteric Youth – The Star & Garter, Manchester – 01/08/2013

imageToday’s warm, sunny weather significantly means that most people would expect peace, relaxation and an occasional moan on how hot it is. Yet such serenity is shattered in the area around The Star & Garter. Local blackened hardcore troupe Esoteric Youth tear the walls down for all to hear. On the back of their latest 7” ‘The Burden of Living’ on Church Of Fuck records, the band don’t mess about in warming the crowd for tonight’s dose of noisy goodness. The bass is evilly pulsating and the yells are deafening; they’re a hardcore group with a sheer lust for black metal. It’s very good, but not quite there yet. Though it certainly does the job the right way, not the wrong way or the “Max Power” way; this reviewer is satisfied. (3.5/5)

If you thought Esoteric Youth was terrifying then Pennsylvania’s Full of Hell is the devil incarnate. This darkened hardcore mob is satisfyingly volatile. The noise levels are raised to such high levels that one’s brain will melt and seep out of their ears; if you like such terror then this is a great feeling. The band shift through their set from fast bludgeoning tempos to static dissonant filled sludge noise; it’s a miracle the crowd is still standing. Unhinged, vile and demonically fantastic, Full of Hell are the real deal. (4/5)

Since the release of debut LP ‘Love Is Love//Return to Dust’, Code Orange Kids have sparked a fever surrounding their outfit. Based on this raw energetic performance, such a fever, such hype is well and truly justified. The hardcore quartet is deliciously filthy and full of rage in their approach. They possess stamina which many bands, both young and old, crave yet can’t muster. Code Orange Kids are uncompromising and passionate in their delivery. Besides the anger, the band knows when to pause and shift their notes to a quieter shimmering level. These moments are few but they consistently retain a sense of dreariness which equates to reactions of awe and respect. (4/5)

Closing the night off in a serene and comfortable environment, progressive post hardcore legends Circle Takes the Square impress as if it was a natural reflex. The band’s music shifts and blends majestic heavy riffery with lighter touches which dazzle gloriously. Roaming alongside guitars, bass and drums is the call/response vocal interplay between bassist Kathleen Stubelek and guitarist Drew Speziale, whose vocals range from frailty to coarse filled yells. In fact it’s these components that show off the brilliance that is Circle Takes the Square. As musicians they blend a marvellous display of sweeping emo and post punk that collide into the heavier screamo angst and grindcore tempos. Such a blend extends itself to the die-hard fans at the front who sway and yell back to their heart’s content. An hour later, many in the room are left wanting for more but all great moments come to an end. Hopefully in this case, that end is a pause, a period of hunger that will wait for the band’s return back to these shores. (4/5)


Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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