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Obey The Brave and Polar at Boston Music Rooms, London - live review

Live Review

Venue: Boston Music Rooms, London

Hardcore punks in need of more seasoning

It's a quiet night in Tufnell Park and the early crowd are hanging back from the stage. POLAR [8] frontman Adam Woodford isn’t having any of it. “I know it’s a Sunday but come the fuck closer,” he orders. He’s the kind of dude you don’t argue with and the crowd dutifully comply with his demands for circlepits and a wall of death. On recent album No Cure No Saviour, the Surrey five-piece injected mammoth hooks and a steely metal grip into their post-hardcore assault, simultaneously upping the grit and the anthems. As a result, bleak but impassioned anthems Tidal Waves And Hurricanes and a bludgeoning Blood For Blood absolutely crush live, sonically landing the band bang in the middle of Architects, While She Sleeps and Parkway Drive – an exhilarating place to be. From chunky opening stomper Get Real to a defiant Next Level, OBEY THE BRAVE’s [7] belligerent Hatebreed-meets-Sick Of It All template gets the pit moving, but they struggle to match Polar’s dynamic energy. The Canadians mixed things up on their last album, Mad Season, and amid the breakdowns, vein-popping gang shouts and no-nonsense riffs of On Thin Ice and On Our Own, squeaky-clean vocals from frontman Alex Erian have put a melodic slant on an otherwise meat’n’potatoes approach. Tellingly though, the one really incendiary moment comes during Drama, when Polar’s Adam jumps back onstage to provide a sucker-punching guest vocal.

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