Carving a Giant @ Haygate, Telford 29/08/12

After reading through my notes I couldn’t help but smile. These guys are something genuinely special – in the best possible way. Exciting, eccentric and eager these guys have a clear passion and love for what they do. Unlike most other bands I review, after attempting to dig up some dirt on this up and coming Progressive Hardcore crew from the West Midlands UK, all I came across was an invite to first jump up, get to their show, and jump on my friends head, as well as a Tumblr account… Jeez, right? This was going to be a tough one, however I was lucky enough to catch a few words from the gents regarding their fanbase, their future, and their style of music.

Taking influences from the legendary Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die and Stray From The Path, you get a quick idea of what to expect musically, as well as: “… Anything that’s high in energy and filthy as hell suits us just fine.” I asked rather more personally how they would define their style of play, to which even they admitted they struggle to hit the nail with, as well as others I should add… “Some guy in London the other day called us “Artistic Hardcore”. I have no idea what that means but it sounds pretty sweet.”. The genre of Progressive Hardcore seems for now to be sticking – however they’ve agreed to just call it “Filth.” and just allow others to judge what their genre is.

Another question I had to ask was what it meant for them to have such a rapidly growing fanbase – with now over 1000 Facebook followers; as well as more frequent shows, different cities and adventures to follow suit.

“In terms of having a fanbase and looking at the future of the band, we all feel like we’re really starting to get the ball rolling now.”

Spirits were high following 2 fantastic opening acts from the local Deathcore band Salacious Crumb and hardcore crew The Colour Line. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but with over 1000+ followers on Facebook my expectations were limitless.

Vocalist Kriss Derry opened proceedings by storming the front with an infectious tooth-to-tooth grin etching across his face, screaming for involvement from the crowd surrounding him before guitarists Aaron Wright and Bill Grove plucked the beginnings of their appropriately named intro: Dirt – which led to the first track of the night – German Suplex. A perfectly timed hardcore riff shook the very air that automatically led the room into a headbang. Already it was clear these guys knew what they were doing. Evidently fully focused on making a quick impact bassist Jay Allen gestures the crowd to move, and the crowd followed suit. Happy with this new-found crowd involvement, the band inspired the crowd into an eruption of pits, broken only by a mouthwatering solo Dave Mustaine himself would have shed a tear to.

“Fucking Move!” – with pleasure. These gentleman put the hard in hardcore. Cold Hand was the next song on the setlist, and if we were about to witness anything like we had over the past 5 minutes we were in for something special. Arms and legs swinging, Kriss was full of joy with the pure energy spiraling in front of him. I genuinely couldn’t believe what I was hearing, the riffs were literally fascinating, and the face-melting solo’s were manipulating us like puppets – hands thrown in the air we were hit face-first with a spine-snapping breakdown that introduced pure destruction. Drummer Matt Edwards was delighted with the chaos he had created, and the room steamed up following a beautiful technical riff to end the song on a very modest high.

“You’re all standing around like pussies, fucking move!” challenge accepted. Enter ‘Reigning Champ’, the 3rd song of the night, which led to Kriss try and literally punch his hand through a fan. Aaron, with the look of a child who’d done his first line of cocaine, jumps on and off stage as he displays his hardcore genius fantastically. At this stage it was C.A.G behaving more brutally than the gathered crowd surrounding them. As if embarrassed by this the response was a wall of death,  the crowd fighting like rabid dogs on heat. Feeling surely accomplished Kriss sits wearily to admire what he’d created. Not long later the band gathered to announce the finale (“Fucking Move!! Move! Now!!!”), and a perfectly timed drop that surely shook the depths of hell crashed down onto us mere mortals. As distortion filled the air an incredibly well deserved applause echoed the room.

“Who wants a song about chicken?” what mosher doesn’t love to hear those bizarre words. Few laughs sounded, but the sincere expressions on the Giants faces quickly dismissed them. Kriss riled the crowd up, and another brain-tingling riff which again demonstrated the excellent talents of the instrumentalists opened up the pits once more. I remember thinking to myself that guys really know what the crowd wants to hear, and see for that matter. Guitars swinging professionally (if such a thing) these guys were just simply fascinating in all respects, from the excellent frontmanship to the perfectly performed notes and snares struck. The song peaked when the drums rose in momentum which ended with a true hardcore breakdown – which left the pits moshing in sync.

The final song to be performed (devastatingly) was their most well known track – Mega Hench – which can be found on their bandpage for download. With the floor shaking and energy levels still at an all time high, this was proving to be a fantastic finale to the set list. The bass riffs throughout that were so genuinely filthy and incredibly unique in their own respect, solo’s that lead you to question everything you thought you knew about finger techniques, along of course with drum patterns that were just simply fantastically struck – to the growling lyrics that can be related to every troubled kids problems. With climaxes in mid-air and screams of affection,  pleasure and passion was written on these guys faces as they performed exceptionally to leave such a vivid imprint on all of our memories. The singer Kriss was lifted at the final chord struck as the instrumentalists lifted their instruments in triumph. A tremendous applause ended the night on a sensation higher then heaven. A final infamous Reigning Blood riff, and the plugs were pulled.

Guitarist Aaron Wright: “Playing a show in a new place and having people move to your music who’ve never heard of you before is pretty much the greatest feeling in the world, and even seeing people who don’t move and just stand at the back nodding their heads when they could be outside with a pint in the smoking area waiting for the next band is still a pretty awesome thing.”

Speaking afterwards on Facebook he admitted to me that “We were always told Telford had an amazing music scene and last night literally blew me away.” These gentleman are something truly phenomenal, who perform to such incredible extents to match their genuinely incredible personalities. The fans and support means the world to them, and their support is so very much deserved.

Check out their Facebook page, give them a like, and catch them when they next come to somewhere near you. You won’t regret it!


About shandysmokepizzeria

I study and write about music. Numerous reviews, interviews and features can be found via my blog ShandySmokePizzeria:
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