Live Review: Perp Walk, Blood Feud and more 23/3

Hardcore fans are spoilt for choice at the moment as the UK scene thrives. And a packed Saturday night at the Devonshire Arms is exhibit A....

Contrary to what you may have been told all your life, ugliness and dirtiness can indeed be virtues – particularly when it comes to music.

In an increasingly sanitised music industry full of identikit, polished, micromanaged bands with little of interest to say, it’s always great to be reminded that there are still plenty of bands (and in tonight’s case, youthful ones) out there willing to shine a light on the darker aspects of life and make a gloriously unholy racket whilst doing so. “But it’s just noise!”, the usual suspects cry. Fuck ‘em. 

This is only State Sanctioned Violence’s third gig, but the quartet have plenty going in their favour; a beast of a frontman, a bass tone filthier than Motörhead and Sabbath wrestling in soot, and a sound that smashes together breakneck-speed crust punk with sludgy breakdowns.

Tension follow, with a similarly bleak and often punishingly heavy hardcore attack, and their clever use of a vocal loop switch gives ‘Done Too Much’ something of a UKHC evacuation-warning-message vibe (if you can imagine that). It all sounds so ominous, and all the better for it.

State Sanctioned Violence, Devonshire Arms, March 2024. Pic by James Sherry.
Tension. Devonshire Arms. March 2024. Pic by James Sherry.

Leeds quartet Blood Feud show us no mercy. The likes of ‘Scum’ and ‘Retaliatory Violence’ are stripped-down blasts reminiscent of early New York hardcore, but soaked in British vitriol, and they sound even more fearsome in the live setting than on last year’s excellent demo.

The pit goes even more berserk than before, and both band and crowd seem to be feeding off each other’s chaotic energy – just as it should be. The Devonshire Arms regulars can no longer ignore what’s unfolding in their (increasingly sweaty) local, and nor should they.

Blood Feud. Devonshire Arms. March 2024. Pic by James Sherry

Perp Walk sound like they’re coming from a very dark place (and no, we are not referring to their hometown of Bristol) indeed. Their two-guitar attack lends their sound an extra beefy edge in the live setting, with the whole affair threatening to spill over into sonic warfare on more than one occasion.

Vocalist Paul is a whirlwind of activity, and you can sense his glee as yet another crunchy breakdown incites mayhem in the crowd. Check out ‘Permacrisis’ on their Bandcamp; it’s superb stuff.

Perp Walk. Devonshire Arms. March 2024. Pic by James Sherry.

So, four bands, all bursting with potential, gigs in the pipeline, and new music either already online or rapidly on its way. You know what to do.

You can support the bands by heading over to their Bandcamp pages or heading out to see them live!

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