Friday, 4 December 2015

LIVE REVIEW: Beartooth with ’68 and Blood Youth at Birmingham O2 Academy

Rock music, and heavy metal in general, is often about making a lot from a little. The Kinks famously made do with what they had when an amp blew up in 1964 – it sparked more than just a few wires and soon “You Really Got Me” patterned a generation. Tony Iommi turned losing his fingertips into some of the most famous riffs of all time as the lack of dexterity made for some of the most crushing melodies in heavy history.

There was an element of that at the 02 Academy as Birmingham played host to a few up-and-coming metal bands and one that could be breaking more than a few sound barriers.

Blood Youth have only been together for 8 months, yeah 8 months! The inexperience didn’t let the group down though as they blasted through a short set of intense and energetic music, interjected with clear vocals and refreshingly, an audible chorus. Crushing riffs and breakdowns helped get everyone set for the carnage set to come too. If the band have managed to jump onto a tour like this in the short time since their inception it will be very interesting to see what 2016 may bring for them in terms musically.

Facebook: /bloodyouth
Twitter: @bloodyouthUK









The Spartan approach was certainly not lost on the excellent band “‘68”, who only brought two members; a guitarist/vocalist (though ‘vocalist’ is used very loosely) and a drummer. For those already rolling their eyes and muttering stuff about Royal Blood and The White Stripes under their breath, ’68 really have to be seen before those comparisons are lazily uttered. Expansive and experimental riffs and sounds fed back into the night as the lead singer interjected with hilarious quips, including introducing the band as “Metallica, from Metallica town, USA”. A breath of fresh air among the typically expansive and studio-centred groups usually thrust onto the mainstream scene; ’68 were a reminder you can make a lot of fucking noise with just a guitar and an angry voice. Oh, and a lot of cymbals.

Facebook: @theyare68
Twitter: @theyare68


Beartooth then, had a lot to live up to after selecting some excellent support but luckily they did just that. Opening with the excellent “Lines” from their highly touted “Disgusting”, Beartooth quickly reminded many why they were one of the most exciting bands coming out of the last 18 months. We even managed to see Blood Youth join the band on stage to finish one song "Dead" for them. The coming together of some amazing talent for sure. Beartooth were aggressive and the crowd was as intense as I have seen in a perfectly sized venue; a storm in a teacup that suited the band to a tee. A sadly short set concluded with a terrific version of “Bodybag”, a song that felt somewhat foreboding as teenage frames were being tossed around like a black-shirt only game of volleyball.

Beartooth’s new album is set for 2016 and it looks like more than this writer is very excited about it. The evidence in Birmingham suggests it should be a cracker, too.

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Twitter: @BEARTOOTHband

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