• London
  • United Kingdom
  • Camden Underworld
  • 2006-09-11

Architects’ two guitarists were never to be caught just knocking out the same riff as each other to fill in gaps — every segment and moment of each of their songs had been painstakingly arranged. Nor was there any suggestion of a ‘lead/rhythm’ division — as they yo-yoed up and down the fret-board counterbalancing each other, the freely moving parts worked together like a Brazilian goal.

This was reflected in the way the band worked together as a whole. Although in some ways it felt like there was a broad range of tempers, tempos, styles, etc, they remained in other ways completely unrelenting in heaviness and intensity throughout their set. When the vocals were being more spoken than roared, the guitarists took it up a notch. The guitarists were able to share epic, high-pitched harmonies, whilst the band retained the overall momentum of a juggernaut, courtesy of the bass, and the drummer’s thunderous double kick. This was often made more effective by the singer keeping his part the same while the guitars changed, and vice versa, giving the feeling that the different parts were sliding across each other like a bag of snakes.

The guitarists were able to share epic, high-pitched harmonies, whilst the band retained the overall momentum of a juggernaut.

This aspect also fitted with the way that, however many time signatures they bounced into, and however many sections were stripped down to just high-pitched discord matched with twiddling runs and broken chords, it was always somehow possible to bang your head to the pounding beat.

Something that set Architects apart from nearly all metal bands was that their singer smiled. Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoyed their set much more when, through the facial hair of C4’s Justin Lee Collins, came a truly satisfied grin that said he was loving playing there. This also gave him a maniacal quality, and reminded me of the singer from Pitchshifter, when the grin suddenly snapped into the face of a man bellowing his lungs out through his pelvis, every time he started singing.

this was completely organic chaos

A feature of all the bands that played tonight (The Chariot and Break The Sky, as well as Architects) was their DIY punk ethic. There was no separation between the bands and the crowd, who frequently invaded the stage and screamed down the mic — sometimes when invited, and sometimes not. There were several times when, taking the smallest of cues from each other, large portions of the crowd spontaneously bundled the front of the stage and monitors. Even during the opening band, there was so much energy that most of the venue was cleared for people windmilling and fly-kicking, people jumping up and off the pillars, and literally swinging from the rafters, and people dancing like Fred Astaire playing hopscotch on speed. During the last Architects song, the singer got the crowd to completely clear the main area, for everyone to run back and forth like a royal rumble; the last time I’d seen anything like that was at a One Minute Silence gig. But unlike OMS, who used an organised ‘pit crew’, this was completely organic chaos, where everyone had an understanding of mutually accepted conventions.

I hadn’t been to a hardcore gig for a while; I was beginning to feel like a bit of an outsider, and slightly underqualified to write about the show in general. I imagined that for the hardcore regulars, stage bundling is de rigueur. But luckily I got chatting to someone who educated me in the ways of MySpace hardcore. (A couple of people in the crowd actually shouted out “MY SPACE!” at the top of their voices when the bands announced their MySpace details; it took me a while to realise that they weren’t being sarcastic.) And here is the result of my anthropological research, and the second half of this review — the ‘MySpace review’:

br3ak teh 5ky: pwn3d
arch1t3ct5: teh 53xx
th3 char10t: r0xx0r

Having flaunted my ignorance, I will now shut up.


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