Comeback Kid / Svalbard (Live Review – Boston Music Room, London, July 8 2019)
Although London can provide any experience you could possibly imagine, sometimes you just want to walk into a packed music venue and get pummelled by heavy songs for a few hours. The next time that urge consumes you, book a ticket for the nearest Svalbard (8/10) show and get involved. With two shows remaining on their tour with Comeback Kid, and even more UK and European gigs coming up, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do just that.
For the uninitiated, Svalbard stand for freedom from oppression of all kinds. They are pro-life in the term’s most literal interpretation, and impossible to pigeonhole in terms of their home genre. They’re definitely post-something (metal, black metal, hardcore, whatever) – but when you’re busy headbanging to vicious songs that rail against everything from sexual assaults at shows to animal rights and unpaid internships, it’s unlikely that you’ll pause to nitpick over the only aspect of Svalbard’s art that doesn’t really matter anyway.
Comeback Kid (9/10) might not be as overtly political as Svalbard, choosing instead to draw on a mix of introspective and socially conscious topics, but that’s no bad thing. With six albums and 19 years behind them, these guys have earned the right to do whatever they want – and as their audience for the evening confirmed, plenty of people are still prepared to mosh, dance, and sing along to classics like “Wasted Arrows”, “Should Know Better”, “Somewhere Somehow”, and the set-closing “Wake the Dead”. Party anthems, major-league riffs, bestial beatdowns, relentlessly infectious energy, a healthy dose of good times tempered with hints of melancholy beneath the surface…if you think you need more from a show than Comeback Kid have to offer, you are wrong.
This was a “best of” set from one of our millennium’s best hardcore acts, and the perfect way to blow those Monday blues into next week.
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