Max Raptor / Allusondrugs / Press To MECO [Live Review – The Borderline, London, 9/3/2016]
There are few pleasures in life like watching a trio of tour-tightened bands tear a legendary venue apart.
Press To MECO (95%), fresh off the back of dropping a straight up stunning debut album named Good Intent, are on the up – and good on them. They absolutely deserve it. Breaking into Family Ties in front of an already-rammed Borderline after a quick bunch of fist-bumps, Press To MECO wasted zero time before nailing chunky riffs and beautiful harmonies.
No warmup song needed. That is the mark of a band who mean business.
Ripping through a cathartic run-through of Honestly and a vicious version of the first-pit-sparking Diffusion Of Responsibility; following those ear-killers up with old song Wasting Time, the conformity-fingering* Means To An End, the group-hug-inducing Autopsy, and the crushing/catchy Manipulate; and finally finishing with Affinity (complete with monkey-dance circle pit and that über-intense breakdown of doom tripping up even the most time signature savvy punters)…well. Let’s just say Press To MECO’s set was rather good.
The most impressive thing about Allusondrugs (95%), after seeing them live several times by now, is how consistent they are. These guys took full advantage of a five-member setup to ramp up the energy from note one – and when note one happens to introduce Stir and a catchy hook in 5/4, no less, you’re on the way to imagining a South Park character declaring that it’s on.
Moving on through the seasick rhythms of Nervous; the shimmering braggadocio of Sunset Yellow; 100 People’s mutant blues; fan favourite Am I Weird?; and I Should’ve Gone To Uni’s psyched-out grungy fuckedness, we hit a new song, Sister. Instantly winning over the Borderline crowd with reverb-and-delay-heavy walls of sound, tumescence-inducing riffs, and wild vocals, Sister made it clear that Allusondrugs’ next creative move is going to push them to a new level. Tasty.
Next up: Cherry Pie. People are politely invited to lose their shit, and a lot of shit promptly gets lost before Allusondrugs make their exit amid much deserved applause.
Last up: Max Raptor (95%) – and no, those ratings aren’t typos; if you put a gun to my head and demanded I pick a favourite from this lineup, you’d just have to shoot me.
Stripped-down hardcore is the name of the game with these guys. Scalpel-sharp lyrics and blunt-force music make effective bedfellows, and Max Raptor are well versed in the art of marrying the two together. Damage Appreciation, Population, Evangeline, Obey The Whips, Patron Saint (Of Nothing), England Breathes, and The King Is Dead scarred a lot of throats, inspired near-constant pit action, and most likely led to a few punters waking up this morning ready to go to A&E and sort out a neck brace.
Overall: Last night was an epic night. Whether you were there or you’re just reading this out of curiosity, click a few of the links below and get connected with three of the UK underground’s best bands right now.
*“Fingering” as in “giving the middle finger to,” not…that. Anyway…