Forget everything that was said before...

...now is the time

LISTEN TO The Hurt Process.

UK boys done good. The album 'A Heartbeat Behind' came out early this year and since then THP have been busy trying to convince Americans how good they are. But they're better than that.
This is quick but powerful, heavy and emotional rock, with the odd hardcore hissy-fit tempered by moments of serentity. And songs about pirates.

Go see them on the Trick or Treat tour with Aiden over the rest of October, it'll be interesting to see if the genuine intensity they used to play with remains after a few line-up changes over the summer.


CIRCA SURVIVE. Metro, London. 26.09.05

"This doesn't even feel like a show, it feels like a party," says Anthony Green as his new band play another rock song.

He's right; there's barely 50 people in here tonight. The big open space and blasting air conditioning hardly helpful for sticky gig mania and the band aren't even that good. But this isn't a party at all, and it certainly isn't just another show. This is a jaw dropping and actually unbelievable, intense yet utterly welcoming bona fide event.

Y'see all the people that are here are here because little Anthony Green used to be in Saosin. A band that should be huge but that's not the point, with Anthony shaking and high pitched singing at the helm they were a band that inspired absolute devotion. And the screams, sweat and tears of that still follow him.

From their first arrival onstage to their final shamble off it the band move in strobe, bathed in the flash light of what seems like more cameras than people. For the entire time.
There are hands everywhere and it doesn't matter what song Circa Survive play from their canon of dreamy post-hardcore the sparse crowd is amazingly loud, even pawing at the microphone, desperate to join in.

After nearly an hour the band finish and head for the bar but bowing under good natured but seemingly endless pressure for me Green sticks around, now with a guitar in hand, to finish this up properly. His solo song a reminder of how much impact rare things like star quality and sincerity still have.

For 50 minutes Circa Survive, or more appropriately, their lead singer, have the tiny Metro crowd transfixed. Really soon a lot more than 50 people will claim they were here to join in.


HONDO MACLEAN- Unspoken Dialect

Hondo Maclean, constantly compared to LostProphets and Funeral for a Friend through a fluke of geography, blow any musical similaraities out the water within ten seconds of 'Keithie's Done Himself a Mischief', the first track on this, their debut album.

The music is thunderous. Rolling percussion and sheet metal guitar skip and start, foot tapping grooves pop up from under discordant noise where vocals twine and float with the music.

As on their previous EP's, but here with more conviction and especially noticeable on the re-recorded tracks, Ben Woosnam's voice becomes another instrument at the band's disposal, switching from smooth croon to impassioned scream to hellish rumble.

There are reference points; the pop sensibilities of a band like Thursday fight for space with the varied aggression of Glassjaw and the dreamy droning of Hopesfall but Hondo never stay in one place long enough to be accused of copycatting.

A decent first album of diverse and memorable tunes that should see Hondo Maclean's fan base expand well beyond the boundaries of borders.

But rumours of the album being titled 'Get Your Riffs Out' should've been oh so true.


THRICE. Mean Fiddler, London. 19.09.05

Jesus, the Mean Fiddler can be an unforgiving sound sucking hole of a venue but my god, Thrice are a tight unit.

Playing the first of just three UK dates this week as a tease for new album 'Vheissu' which is out next month, the band come out not so much fighting but at least heads down and workmanlike, like they always do, and as always, it's a little underwhelming.

The first few songs are swallowed by the bad PA but Thrice, now with four albums under their belts, are all seasoned professionals and the absolute quality of the songs they produce shines through. 'Kill me Quickly', 'Trust' and 'Cold Cash...' are taut, emotional rock songs, just as on record, but tonight are transformed into forever memorable hymns.
And there is an adoration verging on bloodlust from the capacity crowd who listen intently, scream back every word and dance hard and fast, for many this is near religious stuff.

Four new songs appear tonight and despite the faintest whiff of meek and loose indie material, they eventually rock with trademark heaviness and melody.

Finishing with a perfect rendition of 'Deadbolt', Thrice leave to a lenghty, deafening roar but without fanfare, probabaly content in the knowledge that even without explosions or fire or eyeliner they'll see London many more times.

They'll be back in the New Year with Coheed and Cambria, miss that at your eternal regret.


SWIFT- The Absolute Uncontrollable

Genuine and beautiful melody and rangy but fast hardcore, spiky, racing guitars and fierce and fine vocals all cooking together. This is great stuff and it's all within track one.

Tribunal Records carry on their fine tradition of unearthing real gems (previously releasing stuff by Atreyu, Killwhitneydead and Prayer for Cleansing) with the arrival of Swift.

This is very much a blend of contemporary metallic influences but as 'The Absolute Uncontrollable' plays out it becomes a record impossible to pigeonhole. It isn't a perfect record, the production, despite being handled by Jaime King (He is Legend, BTBAM) leaves vocals low and the guitars too high in the mix and some of the songs, even as overflowing with clever hooks as they are, drag just a little.

Minor gripes aside, it is nearly perfect and how often can that truly be said. There are hundreds of ideas here but this isn't progressive, over reaching or confused, just plain old brilliant.


EVERY TIME I DIE- Gutter Phenomenon

Every Time I Die live shows have always seen the band walking the fine line between life-of-the-party ultra confidence and cocky arrogance and now the music they produce has gone and caught up.

'Gutter Phenomenon', their third album, makes their change from angry and loud punk kids to down and dirty, tune-puking rock'n'rollers, complete.

There are huge hooks here, from Keith Buckley breaking the habit of nearly seven years and cracking out the perfect smoke and whiskey singing voice to the handclaps and Slipknot like riffery of 'Pretty Dirty'.

'Gutter Phenomenon' is an album to prove every bad word ever said about Every Time I Die totally wrong. This isn't noise for noise sake, or metal kids acting clever. However sharp and spiky they play, producer Machine has made this thick sounding, enveloping stuff. The songs flex and ease in exactly the right places, the temper and tunes balanced, with just enough sass for new fans covering up the same old lyrical venom.

Destined to be huge whether you like it or not