Tonight we’ve been invited to a 3 band showcase set up by the label Better Noise Records. On the bill tonight are 3 bands who are getting set to make their mark and set off for the future.
Up first is London’s very own Anavae, a female fronted alt rock band. There’s ambient edges to the bands music as they dictate their way through subtle verses with one member ditching his guitar on several songs to add some emphasise by pummelling a floor tom to give the songs a bit more weight. Vocalist Rebecca Need-Menear gets to show off her impressive range as her voice soars over the top of the instrumentation. The band sound massive in this room and with a bit more personality and gravitas could see them look comfortable on the bigger stages soon enough.
Playing their first show on UK soil all the way from the US is From Ashes To New. The band bring their overly enthusiastic American charm to the performance and bound on stage full of energy and ready to win this lot over. The band are surprisingly more bearable live then on record with their US radio rock friendly metal that would’ve probably made them massive just after the demise of the nu metal scene over a decade ago. The vocal trade off between vocalists Matt Brandyberry and Chris Musser isn’t as cheesy sounding as on record and both singers sound incredibly crisp and record like. The quintet are confident and in the mood as during the start of one song there’s a juggling of drumsticks between the musicians in the band, drummer Tim D’Onofrio doesn’t miss a bit, impressive.
Tonights headliners are another band playing their hometown is metal unit As Lions. Much has been expected of this band after the demise of 3 of the members former band Rise To Remain. Sporadically releasing music and not playing many shows hasn’t gotten the scene talking too much about this lot but by the sounds of things this may be about to change. Download festival this weekend will surely put them to the test and see if all this waiting will be worth it. “what the fuck is up guys?!” comes the opening statement from guitarist Will Homer as the band kick straight into their set with frontman Austin Dickinson running onto the stage and straight into it. There’s no screams in the music unlike their previous project as Austin lets what his dad gave him (Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson) prove how great a talent he really is.
The music can seem a little basic and safe at times with the likes of ‘White Flags’ and ‘The Fall’ being displayed tonight. There’s synchronised headbanging that comes off cringey and previously used participation acts from Austin. “Put your left arm around the person next to you, now put your right arm round the person on your right, when this song kicks in we’re gunna head bang together”, again coming off cheesy and slightly desperate. Overall the band play with confidence and gusto but there’s nothing groundbreaking about the music or tell your friends worthy. 6/10