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ATP! Live Review: Weekend Nachos, The Afternoon Gentlemen, The Long Haul, Pariso (et al) - The Croft, Bristol (UK)

Bristol may not be a particularly famed breeding ground for hardcore bands, but it certainly never fails to do an incredible job of housing them, and this recent collaboration between promoters Dead Chemists and Sabotage Promotions - who have both been doing an increasingly impressive job individually of bringing bands from Europe and the US to UK stages for the pleasure and destruction of your ears - has helped to firmly cement the city as a go-to spot for unable-to-fuck-with line-ups and memorably messy performances.

In a veritable who's who of ear-blowing body-bashing hard-grind-thrash-metal-whateveryouwannacallit-core, both rooms of The Croft were utilised and alternated between throughout the night, with Pariso and The Long Haul heading up the smaller back room and The Afternoon Gentlemen and Weekend Nachos commanding the front. There was a discernible "scene" divide between the two rooms in terms of how the bands on the line-up were arranged, but there was no point during the evening where the crowd made that evident in a lame "mine is better than yours" sort of way. Watching people respectably beating the shit out of one another for an entire evening has never been so refreshing. Obviously there were the one or two obligatory straggling lamestains ricocheting around the pits with too many drinks and too little consideration, but their presence was dealt with accordingly on the night and will be ignored accordingly here. Take your enormous empty backpacks and self-importance back to the 90's and mosh with Kurt Catalyst or some nonsense.

The line-up - nine bands strong in total - was compiled as a result of two separate but simultaneous tours between Weekend Nachos/ The Afternoon Gentlemen/ Shoot The Bastard and The Long Haul/ Pariso, with bands pouring in from all corners of the UK to support. As the first date on their UK run together, Pariso and The Long Haul brought crush in excess, as they always do, with circle pits and crowd surfing completely overtaking the back room. Both bands fly the banner for Tangled Talk but have significantly different styles; Pariso combines elements of power-violence, black metal and dissonant hardcore loaded with heavy riffs and unrelenting blast-beats, whereas The Long Haul lean more towards the melodic Poison The Well end of the spectrum tinted with a Orchid inspired intensity. Differences aside, both bands deliver sets devoid of all pretence and loaded with a caustic energy that reflects an ever-rising watermark on the UK hardcore scene.

If you've ever seen, or even just heard of Shoot The Bastard or The Afternoon Gentlemen, you should be aware that the are both heinously heavy to the point of absurdity. The former incorporate stronger, straight forward elements of thrash and grind with The Afternoon Gentlemen leaving a little more room for some tongue-in-cheek action, blitzing through their set with a serious appetite for shredding, disgracefully low bass and vocals that leap between ridiculous extremes of the vocal range: from Anal Cunt style high-pitch squealing to inhumane grunts and snarls. If you're looking for a record that will shred your eardrums completely, you will most likely find it within the combined discography of these guys.

Needless to say, Weekend Nachos straight-up smashed it. There are a multitude of good reasons why they are and have been one of the most prevalent power-violence bands going, and all of them made themselves apparent that night. With a sense of diversity that's pretty rare to find within their associated genre, they spit out a smooth mixture of thick, sludgy riffs and unadulterated thrash in a seemingly endless, vicious cycle of friction and combustion. It took under a minute (which actually equates to about three tracks in Weekend Nachos time) for people to start scaling any and all surfaces. Bodies hurtled from atop monitors, heads were walked on, elbows were thrown. There was definitely a point where someone literally tried to climb the walls. With the band pulling fairly evenly from an extensive back catalog of solid material and John Hoffman's distinguishing gristly vocals on form, it's highly unlikely that anyone in the room left even marginally disappointed.

Everyone who played absolutely killed it. Killed it, buried it, then resurrected it. If you are unfamiliar with any of the artists mentioned here then you should probably brush up on your homework, do yourself a favor and check them out. With so many fresh, exciting and savagely powerful bands featured on this line-up, there's bound to be at least one that blows your mind.

Keep track of Dead Chemists here and Sabotage Promotions here for future shows.

Emma Garland

Alter The Press!