Heavy 18 was awesome! The bands put 200% in their performance and the audience was moshing like crazy. Thanks to Orange Peel & Carr. Thanks to our amazing reviewers Chris & Lauren. Always grateful to The Underground team (Dicky & Angus this time) for their support.
Heavy 18真的很棒！樂隊有200％的演出表現， 而觀眾也變得瘋狂。感謝Orange Peel及Carr；我們樂評人Chris及Lauren。當然還有 The Underground團隊（Dicky及Angus）的努力和支持。
❤️ Chris B xx
3. I’m Bored
4. Surf Punk (Iggy Pop Cover)
5. We Don’t Like You
6. I Got a Right/Night?
7. Cut My Teeth
8. Ooh Ooh Ah
9. I Wanna Be Your Dog (Iggy Pop)
It would appear that The Pansies have had more line-up changes than Fleetwood Mac since their inception in 2014, with guitarist Miggy De Leon being the only founding member still remaining on his designated instrument. Nevertheless, the band took to the Orange Peel stage with the confidence you might expect from touring veterans.
Opening track ‘Scumbag’ enters with a Billy Idol harmonic slide down the guitar, before pumping with a Ramones style power chord guitar/bass line combo, and frenetic early Joy Division drumming from Eph Yuen. ‘Psycho’ continued the angst-ridden punk with all members joining frontman Gabe Hackman with the shouty chorus “1,2….3,4!”. Simple, but catchy. The song propelled towards the end with the band speeding up to almost double speed, matching the audio with Hackman’s onstage antics.
‘I’m Bored’ was a more down tempo, but dancey number, with an off-beat hi-hat rhythm, and bluesy rock riff by De Leon in the vein of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The bass patterns in this song were far more intricate from Koutaro Ueda (particularly in the middle section), introducing a squelchy wah effect during the verses. The track built with energy once more, and finished with Hackman shouting down the microphone, whilst wobbling his throat to create an over-exaggerated vibrato in his voice.
The band appeared far more subdued during their cover of Iggy Pop’s ‘Surf Punk’, but came racing back with ‘We Don’t Like You’. The palm muted riff and aggressive bass lines were reminiscent of Julian Casablancas + The Voidz’ ‘Where No Eagles Fly’, but the punchy chorus was straight up Sex Pistols, again getting every member involved vocally.
‘Cut My Teeth’ showcased a slightly more diverse side to The Pansies, with an almost jazz style of drumming, and a Stadium Arcadium-era Chili Peppers chorus, before another rapid and boisterous ending. Hackman came offstage, took a swig of a crowd member’s Jack Daniels, then burped into the microphone, perfectly in time before the big crash of cymbals.
‘Ooh Ooh Ahh’ began abruptly with screams down the mic over bluesy riffs, and animated gestures to the audience to join in on the choruses, which they did so willingly. By the end, Hackman found himself on the floor, falling off-stage. The most memorable part of the set though (and maybe even night), was closing track ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ – another Iggy Pop cover. Again, the band seemed a little restrained at first, but as the song progressed both crowd and band were bouncing along before Hackman unexpectedly slumped to the floor, undid his skinny jeans and jumped around until they had fallen down entirely.
Despite The Pansies wearing their influences so clearly on their sleeves, and their divisive on-stage personas, they delivered a confident and (most importantly) memorable set. If De Leon, Yuen and Ueda started donning leather jackets, The Pansies would start to look like the real deal…
– Chris Gillett
1. Diamond Maze
2. Life & Death
3. Signal of Silence
Some Heavy bands act as a buffer to break the crowd slowly into progressively angrier music. Not Sensation Circle, who decided the best way to kick off The Underground’s last Heavy of the year was to get punters moshing from the off. Opening song Diamond Maze drew upon the metalcore dynamism of bands like Chiodos, The Haunted and Architects as lead singer Marco crowed like an irate rooster.
The vocalist channeled Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes’s glottal velociraptor-style yells on Life & Death, which saw drummer KaYiu exert himself over some rolling death rhythms. Lister’s bass was tuned so low that the strings bobbled sinisterly, giving the song a sludgy feel. But that was just them getting started: on rager Signal of Silence, the band hit its stride with hoarse, indecipherable vocals evoking the sound of fellow HK metallers Black Night Red Sky. Marco’s yelps blended with guitarists Yen and Kin as they moved from low staccato riffing to melodic chords.
On Exile, barked lyrics and a rat-a-tat snare recalled While She Sleeps, as the guitarists reared up a venomous, two-headed onslaught. Lister embellished his bobbles with hair flicks and neat licks, bringing to mind, elements of Slayer in his rapid, aggressive style. Final song Imperfection was a metal melee of Slipknot’s pinch harmonic squeals from Ken and simple yet punchy metal playing from Yin. Lister almost burned through his E-string as he delivered a pummeling bassline, while fighting fans became fevered as they foamed in the pit below.
– El Jay
1. Amalgamate (intro)
5. Paper Cranes
Before Parallel Horizons had even started playing, someone in the crowd put their hood up: a surefire sign that things were about to get crazy. That guy clearly didn’t want to get identified on CCTV after mashing someone’s face. Anticipation was raised as the band started tuning up to the sound of what felt like endless guitar noodling. It had been a couple of years since the band were last at UG, and they were about to return with the full crushing force of their melodic metal core.
After intro track Amalgamate gave the show a slick start, there was barely any let up in the intense shredding and crashing drums. Singer Naseem Khan unleashed his vocals with a menacing scream, before torturing his windpipe by alternating between dog-like barks, warped shrieking and pained singing. Versatile! On first song Rift, his guttural barking gave way to a pit that whirled into a frothing maelstrom.
A twinkly, calming backing track lulled the crowd into a false sense of security, before opening up to rapid arpeggios and buffeting riffs that spotlit guitarists Jerome Turner (of Sugar Bro fame) and Sam Rodriguez, as they showed off their dual dexterity. Khan’s choking growl fell somewhere between Count Your Blessings-era Bring Me The Horizon and black metallers Abigail Williams.
Compressed guitar gurgles recalling Slipknot’s The Negative One began Psychosis. Rodriguez played it low as the pit churned, signaling the arrival of guest vocalist Jacey Leung, from Instinct of Sight. In a song about “overcoming fear”, her high wails mixed the tones of Paramore Hayley Williams and Circa Survive’s Anthony Green. However, her voice wasn’t strong enough to compete with the onslaught of sound from the band, which caused her to become painfully off-key.
Pillars began with a gentle yet ominous intro, leading to some clever finger-tapping from Rodriguez. A single bark from Khan sent the pit into overdrive. He looked impressed as he stood back to take a sip from a tiny pink carton of strawberry milkshake; the most metal of beverages.
Final track Transcendence was the band’s big finale. A fast, middle eastern-sounding backing track was probably intended to conjure up some mysticism, but ended up sounding more like a taxi driver’s ringtone. Ross Flores dived in with a spring-loaded bass thrum, while Turner and Rodriguez tore into some pretty intricate work. Khan showed off his soulful side by singing a few bars, but then threw his entire lung capacity into breathless growls and borborygymic retches that came from deep within.
In terms of stage presence, personality and execution, Parallel Horizons had it down. Their performance conjured up just the right level of ominous atmosphere to capture the crowd in the palm of their hands, while the tight musicianship of the members warranted the broad range of influences this exemplary Hong Kong group employ.
– El Jay
Instinct of Sight
1.Lost in somewhere
6.From now on
From the beginning of their show, Instinct of Sight captured everyone’s attention by standing with their backs to the crowds. Jacey, who had warmed up with Parallel Horizons moments earlier, was dogged by the same vocal problems for at least the first few songs. However, after she shed her nerves and the sound guy had sorted out the levels, the tattooist’s vocal performance became much more consistent and powerful.
She and bassist Elvis shared the spotlight with a sound that drew from post-hardcore and screamo, and pitted his anguished growls against her vocal melodies. Kicking off their headline slot, Jacey gave a pained, wraith-like scream, while the veins in Wai’s neck contorted as he squeezed out hoarse words.
Jacey’s high register and vehement performance recalled Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez. As the band went into a hard rock breakdown, the singers’ calls for a circle pit were not ignored. The band’s slightly tame, more melodic hardcore sound may not have warranted the constant fighting and walls of death that formed on the dancefloor, but these punters were going to get their metal money’s worth, dammit!
Guitarist Chung made light work of Crawling‘s angular, ring-modulated nu-metal riff, while Jacey and Wai’s lines bounced off each other in Alexisonfire-style call-and-response, before joining for a chant or “look into my eyes when your dreams all fall.” On 光影, Sorrowful arpeggios met vocal wails and Kin’s atmospheric, cymbal-driven drums. It was one of the heavier songs, hinting at the doomy guitar gallop of Amon Amarth and Killswitch Engage amid compressed riffing and revving bass.
An assault of shredding and screaming hit the ears on 過, which gave flight to atmospheric guitarwork, before things came crunching back down to heavy, low bass, visceral guitar distortion, coming to a close with soft, twinkling harmonies. Armour employed sweeping post-hardcore guitar styles from Chung, and once again combined Jacey’s soaring style with Wai’s ripped snarls.
While their show could have done with a bit more polish in terms of vocal consistency, Instinct of Sight certainly have the showmanship, passion and fan base to warrant a headline slot, and they delivered a crowd-pleasing set that left ears ringing.
– El Jay
Photos by Angus Leung.
Poster by Ananya Kala.