The crowd squeezed into the sweaty Next bandroom to catch three fine proponents of hardcore on this winter’s eve. First up was Melbourne’s own Vultures, who play no-frills dirty hardcore. I was looking forward to their performance as I dug their recorded output. They were featuring a new front-man, Sean Walton, who unfortunately couldn’t match the harsh mid-range shout of their previous vocalist Tyson Daniel, instead sticking to the lower register. The band nonetheless showcased some nice melodies and an energetic stage show. Next inexplicably played pop-punk video hits on a screen behind the band for the entire show.
Scene vets In Trenches were up next, with the legendary Ben Coyte (Day of Contempt) on vocals, and IKTPQ alumnus Kevin Cameron on guitar duties. The punters were in for a treat as In Trenches pummeled their way through a brutal, dynamic and intense set of songs from their debut album, Relive and Regret. If you haven’t seen them live yet, do yourself a favour and catch one of Australia’s finest progressive hardcore bands. Cameron did not stop moving the entire set, leaping about like a man possessed and endangering any photographers foolish enough to stand close to his guitar onslaught. The band featured a new line-up, having recently returned to the live scene after an extended break, with new faces Robert Allen on guitar and Adrian Horsman on drums. Horsman showed off some wicked chops on the kit, although his solo section in Adrift didn’t have the groove that previous skinsman Joel Taylor brought to the band. The band incorporated ambient sections that flowed seamlessly between their crushing riffs, which is something that few hardcore acts pull off. They are currently writing for their second album and are doing a small East coast tour this month, hitting Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane over Nov 10-13. Catch them if you get the chance, In Trenches shows are not all that common.
Total fucking chaos ensued right after headliners Antagonist A.D. launched into their first song, with the band heading across the Tasman after running out of heads to crush in their homeland. Anyone who had seen them before would know what to expect: fast, heavy metallic hardcore, and by god did they deliver on this night. No ambient sections to be found here, as frontman Sam Crocker parted the seas of hardcore kids with a raise of a microphone. Not the type of band that shines on record, they were in their element onstage, face to face with their fans. Crocker announced that this would be their last show before undertaking their first European tour with Byron Bay hardmen 50 Lions and Canadian band Grave Maker. After thoroughly destroying everyone’s eardrums, the band said their goodbyes, leaving the punters to wander home dazed, or continue to pay ludicrous Next drink prices, you can guess which option I took.