So, here I was sitting there in Elevator for Kids We Used to Be’s EP launch. I reviewed this band last month so I was excited to get a sneaky glimpse of them again and see how they had improved or, possibly, depreciated in quality. However, that would have to wait as first to the stage was Above the Noise. This band have a sound very similar to the likes of Blink 182 which can surely only be a good thing, right? This is the band with a member who built his reputation as a singer in a poppier based band called ‘The Endings’ (Mathew Breen) so it is somewhat strange to see him in this light. Above the Noise opened with an anthem like song with a slow melodic chorus but what made it exciting was the fact they started with just vocals and drums; the lyrics being a simple “whoa oh whoa”. Even though this band seemed inexperienced to begin with, I noticed that they built their set strategically and covering songs that people would clearly know; songs such as ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ by You Me At Six. An original the band played, “Hummingbird”, was where the band really showcased the potential they posses. At such a young age as well! The lyrics were better than in their other songs but the music was also better; even though they relied on basic pop punk chord progressions, as a song it was very strong. I did notice however that the band needed to tighten their set a little. Not only the drummer but the lead guitarist too seemed to get lost. This could of been down to nerves as the venue was empty. Still, I felt this band really did deserve a larger crowd.
(Image: An Escape Clause by An Escape Clause)
Following Above The Noise was a new band called An Escape Clause. This band I feel are hard to compare to another band as I could not really distinguish or pin point their sound with in the realms of new pop punk or old pop punk. They were very heavy is all I can say. As were ATN, this band were also under appreciated. A crowd did start to form but didn’t really seem to react to the singer. This band’s music was very atmospheric and felt as if it lead me to a false climax at a point where you would expect a mass explosion of riffs vocals and drums. What the crowd received instead was very well put together break down. The bass player worked the mic confidently with a growl. I liked this because it was a contrast to the stereotypical notion that the bass player is the dull member of the band family. This band defied a stereotype as old as time! However what this singer had in confidence when embarking on a crowd inclusion based mission, he also seemed to have false confidence in his music ability. He kept going for notes he couldn’t reach making the next line of the verse harder for himself to sing. I can only suggest that they’ll be more impressive if they stuck to their strengths and didn’t overdo it.
Nearing the end of the night, Tell Your Friends took to the stage. This band opened with no introduction! As the cliche goes, they did not need one. The singer started the set on stage but slowly began to walk round the venue’s dance floor. This was by no means him being over confident; he just made himself more present to those parts of the crowd that he noticed weren’t paying much attention. Tell Your Friends mix up heavy pop punk with loud distorted guitars but also manage to mellow out their music by using well crafted melodic verses. Lyrically they were fresh too!
To close the night was Kids We Used To Be! This band used the 90’s club anthem, “We Like To Party”, to come on stage which was pretty funny. KWUB clearly aren’t very ‘poppy’! The fact the whole of the elevator crowd was bouncing up and down with the band I thought showed how well they interact with their fan base. Last time I reviewed this band I mentioned that the singer was quietly confident whilst blasting out his brilliant vocal melodies yet this time he was completely different! The vocalist (Carl) made himself bigger on the stage whilst still providing great vocals. To me, this confident boost was great news as this is the only area I believed they needed to improve on but unfortunately there seemed to be a role reversal. The screamer was a little quieter that last time but he did mention he was ill during the set. I’ll let him off with it for now.
In terms of technical ability they oozed it as the guitarists were not holding back at all! For example, in the song “Man, I Hate Your Friends”, they play several notes that meet up behind the vocals which creates a strange but intriguing effect. It contributes to the structural integrity of the melody and progression of the song. Plus like my previous review, the singer at times didn’t even have to sing as the fans knew the words. He just pointed the mic towards the front row and that was enough! Once again I left the venue quite pleased with Kids We Used To Be’s set and generally pleased with all the bands from the night.