Category Archives: Feature

Feature: We Need to Talk About This New Desolated Video

The video above is a music video for Desolated’s song ‘End of the Line’. A quick view will expose you to a side of hardcore you may or may not be familiar with. Certain audience members who are embroiled in the video’s various mosh-pits adhere to an attitude known as “crowd kill” where the audience members go out of their way to hit other moshers in a rather violent fashion. This is achieved with back-hand arm swinging and high-kicking as opposed to your standard pushing and shoving.

Before we address why this is obviously wrong, let me say that I understand that moshing can be an enjoyable and cathartic experience. Heavy, aggressive music like hardcore is bound to provoke an aggressive reaction and this is why mosh-pits are a regular occurrence at heavy music shows. Typically this takes the form of the aforementioned pushing and shoving which is a reasonable, controlled expression of aggression that makes sense in this environment.

A lot of bands actively promote the message that if someone falls in the pit then it should be a priority that you pick them up which is a responsible and caring attitude to share with the people who are passionate enough about your music enough to jump into a mosh-pit. Moshing can lead to injury if you don’t care for your fellow moshers and bands should do more to spread awareness that if they’re going to do it they should look out for each other.

What Desolated are doing is the complete opposite. This video promotes violence towards other moshers and the band have clearly got a strong enough following for this to become typical behavior at Desolated shows. This sort of behavior is no longer moshing; it’s violence and if it wasn’t happening at a hardcore show it would be difficult to argue that the audience weren’t acting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. That’s an offence by the way.

So what needs to be done? Bands like Desolated need to take responsibility for their audience. It doesn’t take a couple of minutes to explain to your audience that if you want to mosh then you should treat your fellow moshers with respect. These people came to your show because they cared enough to support your music; show them that you want them to keep coming back.

I leave you with an amazing example of how this can be achieved. Back in 2011 Foo Fighters played the iTunes Festival in London. The show was brought to a halt when a fight started in the crowd. Dave Grohl took an active stance to make sure that the audience member who started the fight was ejected from the venue because his behavior was not welcome. In doing so he made the experience far more memorable for everyone attending and it’s considerably more likely that these people will continue to attend Foo Fighters shows.

Going to live shows should always be about enjoying music and supporting the artist; after all that’s why people pay to go to them. It’s time for crowd kill behavior to go away so we can welcome more people into heavy music shows.

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Vacant Stare’s ‘Vindication’ is 10 Years Old

Vacant Stare were the hot topic back in the early 2000s. You couldn’t be exposed to UK rock music and not know who they were. They seemed to be on every bill on every major rock show up and down the country and the release of their one and only album ‘Vindication’ was a landmark release for any fan of heavy music.

Released through Copro Records back when it wasn’t completely inactive, Vindication was (and still is) one of the best nu-metal albums to ever see the light of day. Consistent, heavy, anthemic with plenty of electronic flair; it was the sound of a generation.

Then it all went a bit pear-shaped. Talks of major label interest seemed like things were on the up for the Vacant Stare boys and then suddenly they were no more. Their story echoes label-mates earthtone9 (exept for the reforming part) and was enormously gutting for anyone who had stuck with them.

Vindication is now 10 years old and I actually can’t believe it. This was a seminal record for me and one that introduced me to rock and metal. Raise a glass for Vindication and never forget your heroes; music is forever!


Feature: Labels Worth Caring About

One of the easiest ways of discovering new UK rock and metal talent is to keep track of the people who are distributing the stuff. Keeping an eye on your favourite bands’ record labels can be an incredibly rewarding experience as you not only get the release dates for their upcoming records straight from the horse’s mouth, but you also get introduced to a bunch of similarly minded bands that may just satisfy your headbang craving. Here’s 3 of the UK’s best offerings for music of the loud and distorted variety:

Holy Roar Records

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Holy Roar are a cracking label for the hardcore fan. The label has been consistent in signing up the UK’s best hardcore talent and releasing some great records to boot. There’s an awful lot of focus on packaging their releases in unique ways whether it be with gorgeous vinyl variants (splatter wax ahoy!) or working with companies like AC/DSleeve to make stunning pop-up packaging for releases like the Pariso/Kerouac Split 5” vinyl and credit card CD (yes, this is a real thing). Holy Roar is home to Crocus, Slabdragger, Brontide, Rosa Valle, Last Witness and many more that are all worth your time.

Basick Records
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Basick have grown into the UK’s premiere metal label for everything prog and djent. If you like your tech then Basick have you covered. The label is home to an amazing roster of bands including Chimp Spanner, Aliases, Visions and The Arusha Accord among others. Basick are also partial to a massive sale from time to time so there’s always something tasty going for bargain bin prices in their online store. I would recommend my UK partycore heroes The Abner’s (RIP) Chinoiserie Lounge EP which is currently going for a mere quid.



In At The Deep End Records

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In At The Deep End are probably my favourite UK label for music with balls. They have one of the most diverse band rosters with everything from doom metal to hardcore punk and metalcore littering their store. While they don’t release a lot of records very frequently, when they do it’s always of stunning quality. The Defiled released their debut EP ‘1888’ here, Feed the Rhino released their debut album ‘Mr Red Eye’ here and the mighty Bastions released one of the greatest hardcore albums ever here. The record I’m referring to is ‘Hospital Corners’ and it should be in the collection of any serious extreme music fan.

Show these labels some support and buy some records. Your country needs you!