Gig Review
Exit 10, Random Conflict
Birmingham, Barfly
7th February 2009

Chiodos               Exit 10            Random Conflict
In the early 00s a small genre, so called “emo” rose to prominence, and was thrown into the mainstream pop charts. Such bands as Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World and even My Chemical Romance, heralded this sound and found them selves with a new audience. This inevitably led to a congregation of, “so called emo” bands being snapped up by record labels. So now the question is what remains after the dust has settled? Well tonight’s bands are a perfect example of the aftermath of this circumstance.

After the crowd had been warmed up by Sonny Moore’s DJ set which consisted of the likes trance hit ATB’s till I come and rock classics from Rage Against the machine. A long wait was in store for them. The old basement like barfly really showed no sign of excitement just anxious teenagers waiting for the bands to come on. This would not be relieved even after the first band came on Random Conflict. The bad hair cuts would be a sign of what was in store.

The members of this band all sported a fashionable mullet type haircut’s, if there is such a thing. The band consisted of the standard set up of any rock band, but with a slight twist, they included what would appear to be two vocalists, id like to stress the word appears at this point. The band clambered around on stage shouting “testing, testing”. Then suddenly grawls were heard, reminiscent of a death metal band and the barrage of noise commenced. This went on relentlessly for 5 songs, none of the music was discernable and all the other vocalist could do was add more abrasive sound on top. The songs had forgettable galloping guitar melodies, the only enjoyable part of the set was when the band stopped torturing there instruments. The crowd reaction was at a minimum, a few individuals enjoyed the music but it was a very static scene.

After the torment that was endured, Exit 10 advanced onto the stage, they open straight with riffy songs, and catchy choruses. They were a welcome breath of fresh air, the crowd instantly responded to the more coherent vocals and interesting guitars. There sound almost reminiscent of a metal band with soaring clean vocals was undemanding on the ears. An old format but done with a slight new twist, one could loosely label this as “alternative mental” as the double bass pedal heard in the songs is indicative of the music that has influenced the musicians of Exit Ten.

The music showcased on the evening continued in a similar format, with the a few songs encompassing slow break downs, in the midst of glistening clean guitar melodies being picked gently to match the tone of the music. Other songs with heavier elements and beautiful lead lines to match the vocal melodies were unveiled. The bands performance on the night was sharp, with no mishaps, clearly a band with allot of experience playing to audiences that aren’t familiar with them. The performance was engaging, especially the delightful singer who appeared to have been informed that he was not allowed to stay still for a single second or the world would end. A good group to see for individuals looking for heavier alternative music, almost a midway point between alternative rock and metal. I’m sure tonight’s performance would have yielded an increased in the bands fanbase.

The moment has arrived that everyone had gathered for, in the freezing basement of this grimmey venue. The lights went out and a odd haunting soundscape began, it encompassed evocative drone like synth noises, and like the flick of a light switch the music dropped and a giant orgy amassed among the crowd, with piercing screaming vocals bellowing and leading the charge. The room instantly went from being cold and inert, to a hot bed of activity. The bands singer addressed the audience with such boldness that the untrained entity could mistake his passion for playing live with just arrogance. The band continued to plays songs, and after a few compositions, he addressed the crowd to explain that the band, had planned a long evening full of carnage and fun, but only to his dismay be educated that he must shorten the set list, for a measly annual club night, but nonetheless that they would still rock out.

The band played a 50 minute set that included, the following highlights, Two Birds Stoned at Once, A Letter from Janelle and crowd favourite There's No Penguins in Alaska. The music that was heard showed that the band had been influenced by many genres of music, Craig Owens vocals ranged from out right melodic screams to high pitched delicate ones, almost girl like. The variety of influenced make Chiodos a very interesting act to see live, delayed guitar riffs, palm muted distorted guitars, melodic piano accompaniments, synth lines, and much much more, make this “post hardcore” band that many label, clearly a cut above the rest. A definite band to see live, if you are looking for something different and peculiarly clever in your music. If all this does not peek your interest then the frontmans antics along are worth seeing, his audience participation was admirable, jumping into the crowd, singing to individual fans, and his closing lines to the crowd, “I know there is a fucking awesome band playing next door, Alkaline Trio, but thank you very much for seeing us, and just like to thank all the bands on tour, come talk to us, we will be around the merchandise stand, where just a bunch of normal guys thank you so much”.

Random Conflict - 2/5
Exit 10 - 3/5
Chiodos - 4/5

Review By Ashik

Craig Owens
Bradley Bell
Pat McManaman
Matt Goddard
Jason Hale
Derrick Frost

 Glamour Of The Kill

Stuart (Guitar)
Joe (Guitar)
Ryan (Lead Vocals)
James (Bass)
Chris (Drums)

 Random Conflict

Luke Bellamy (Vocals)
Lee Williams (Vocals)
Tommy Noble (Guitar)
Kevin Hingley (Bass)
Glen Homer (Drums)

 Band Related Links
Chiodos The Fate Myspace
Exit Ten Myspace
Random Conflict Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?