Tucked away in the corner of the garden of England (Kent), The Quarterhouse plays host to a number of significantly respected bands over the course of a year. Tonight the reasonably sized yet suitably intimate venue welcomes Los Angeles hardcore-punk behemoths The Bronx into its midst, bringing Kent home-grown powerhouse Feed The Rhino and on-the-up Blasted; the new home for Winnebago Deal vocalist Ben Perrier and Do Me Bad Things’ Tommy Randhawa.
Advertising their sound as rock’n’roll but fast, Blasted may be underselling their art. Sitting suitably uncomfortably between dirty rock and traditional punk, the trio plough through a handful of tracks following the noisy formula. True grit lies within the vocals, never quite reaching excessive screaming and retaining the swagger that classifies straightforward rock’n’roll. With influences rolling in thick and fast, Blasted are destined to hone the expertise of previous incarnations – it remains to be seen just how fast this sound can get.
Rivalling a number of UK bands for the title, Feed The Rhino have been dangerously close to becoming THE live band throughout 2012. Following high profile tours around Europe and the UK, tonight sees them a late addition to a close-to-hometown gig. Switching between tracks from their debut and this year’s ‘The Burning Sons’, the distinction in the sound is evident – the former more thuggish and raw, while the latter injects serious structural consideration without losing the intensity. Fortunately each sits side-by-side, avoiding any disconnection between the tracks. Whether the tricks pulled off by frontman Lee Tobin are an expert way of engaging the crowd or an overused tactic to improve audience perception remains debatable amongst onlookers; regardless, the crowd throw themselves in to everything from the sit-down shenanigans to the wall of death and beyond.
Effortless is an odd description – on one hand it hints at expert skill held by the subject of the exclamation, while on the other it suggests a lack of personal input. In this case The Bronx are simply effortless – and that is their style. Frontman Matt Caughthran does not even grimace as he screams pitch-perfect lyrics into the casually handled microphone, nor do any of the other band members bound around stage like the previously mentioned main support. There seems little need to. Instead the band easily deliver a torrent of tracks predominantly from the forthcoming album, but not withholding the likes of ‘Knifeman’ or ‘Shitty Future’ from the hungry crowd. Between tracks Caughthran transforms into something of a comedian rather than your typical punk frontman – the band are clearly enjoying their time in Folkestone and are willing to share their whimsical attitude; an attitude which is a far cry from the increased power of new material, particularly the lead 7” ‘Ribcage’. A band can truly afford to present themselves as effortless when the sound is so enthralling and the showmanship so natural. The Quarterhouse marks a suitable close to their short UK tour.