Live Review: Propagandhi, Comeback Kid, Shai Hulud and War on Women – Corporation, Sheffield – 19/04/2013

Upon arrival, Corporation looks considerably spacious, and whilst the excuse is that it’s early hours before the main event, such under attendance is criminal, especially for the opening band. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, War on Women make themselves known with their thrash metal meets riot grrrl punk style. Forward-thinking and ecstatic, the present company in the room can agree that there is something about this quintet that stands out. Apart from the bulldozing quality of the band, what certainly attract the audience to the stage are the mannerisms of lead vocalist Shawna Potter. Part Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, part Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, Potter is thoroughly entertaining, as she pokes fun and yells at a misogynistic, unbalanced and corrupted society. (3.5/5)

Legendary metallic hardcore band Shai Hulud doesn’t quite receive the reaction they were expecting from the crowd tonight. Despite much encouragement from the band, only a small number yell back at the bands in your face stage presence. Sure as a live spectacle, they’re raw, passionate and hungry to be here tonight, but by the end, it just feels like an opportunity wasted out of the band’s control. (3/5)

Playing what is essentially their ‘last show’ with current Andrew Neufeld, before he reverts back to his old guitar role and gives way for old vocalist Scott Wade for the next few months in support of the ‘Turn It Around’ 10th Anniversary shows, Comeback Kid are well and truly phenomenal. The Canadian hardcore mob light a spark in the middle of the crowd, setting off an explosive mosh fest and circle pit. Hearing the likes of ‘False Idols Fall’, ‘All in a Year’ and ‘Do Yourself a Favor’ simply puts your hairs on end and advertises the full power of the band’s delivery and drive. Neufeld’s stage presence is bold and daring as his raw vocal delivery gets every individual moving, the pinnacle of which escalates at the anthemic ‘Wake the Dead’. (4/5)

Unashamed of expressing their socio-political views, Propagandhi are integrally the real deal, not just on record, but also in the live environment. The Canadian thrash punkers walk on stage to a well-received audience as they unfurl a three-hit anthemic knockout with ‘Dear Coach’s Corner’, ‘Fuck the Border’, and ‘A Speculative Fiction’; these three songs lay out the evening, the songs show every dynamic of the band which is the perfect introduction.

The likes of ‘Note to Self’ and ‘Duplicate Keys Icaro (An Interim Report)’ show the incredible layering of eerie gentle crescendo and thrashy abrasive that the band have mastered. When playing earlier songs such as ‘Apparently, I’m a P.C. Fascist (Because I Care About Human and Non-Human Animals)’ and ‘Less Talk More Rock’ they’re straight to the point like a skate punk bullet lifted by Chris Hannah’s soaring vocals. The heavier sounds and melodic flow on songs like ‘Night Letters’ sparks off the buzz in the entire room that shouts back the anthemic and intelligent lyrical work.

After a brief interval where seconds merely scrape the fabric of time, the band return to give themselves and their audience a magnificent send-off before they take this tour to the European mainland (minus the company of Comeback Kid). Their musicianship unchallenged; their ideas and words brimming with blunt honesty; and their passion still full of life, Propagandhi mark their presence with the tightest of performances. (4/5)

4/5

Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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