Live Review from Underground Heavy #6:
1. Burn the Flags
2. You Fucked Our Rock ‘n’ Roll
3. Tyler Durden
4. Pushed too Far
5. Soundcheck Song
6. Left For Dead
Bang – Screaming, Guitar, Bass, Drums and More Screaming – What just happened? and why has it stopped?
Straight from the off, This Is Ammunition (TIA) thrashed out their relentless onslaught of self-styled ‘aggrorock’. Performing at The Undergrounds’ ‘Heavy 6′ event, TIA showed that Hong Kong really knows how to scream with the best of them. Fast, heavy and constant, I can only imagine that performing is an endurance exercise for TIA, which makes them all the better to watch. At no point did the band let up, blaring out hard head-banging awesomeness from beginning to end. This is not to mention that the band also have a formidable stage presence, and delivered an energetic performance on the night (which anyone who has seen the size of the stage at Backstage will know is no easy feat in such a tight space). This proved even more impressive when I was told by more seasoned veterans of the metal scene in Hong Kong that TIA are usually even better than they were on this occasion.
The music itself is difficult to pin down as all the bands that I was put in mind of during TIAs performance were nothing at all like TIA, let alone anything like eachother. It was more a case that I would catch a hint of one band in the maelstrom of bass and drums or in part of a guitar riff or else be suddenly reminded of a particular song through some quirk in the vocals. None of which will help to give you an idea of what TIA are really like in the flesh, the only way is to experience it for yourself (which, let’s face it, you should do anyway). There is a taster in the Heavy 5 section of the Undergrounds’ Youtube page, however anyone who has ever tried to record a concert with their phone will know how reliable these kinds of videos are. Otherwise, their album is available (FOR FREE!!1!) at http://www.imusicbox.hk.
I would urge anyone who hasn’t already to get to TIAs next gig (whenever that may be). Those of you who have a soft spot for the hard stuff, you won’t be disappointed.
– Keenan Manning
Live review from Underground Heavy #5
1. Pushed too Far
2. Tyler Durden
3. Left for Dead
4. Killing Zoe
6. Live Die Scarred
7. You Fucked Our Rock ‘n’ Roll
8. Burn the Flags
After having been left slightly cold by the previous set, TIA’s was a fully satisfying one. They have clearly visible (and audible) potential, and they did a hell of a job in fulfilling it. Right from the get-go, they were at full throttle, and their set justworked in every sense of the word. The audience, who had been somewhat reluctant to show enjoyment up to this point, started to show some emotion – and although it was, initially, confusion, the situation changed for the better as the set went on. They sound something like the deep, pacy rhythms of Agent Orange (one of the first punk bands to mix punk and surf music) and the slower, pulverizing metallic style of Seattle’s Melvins. The commanding bass and thundering drums backed up a solid wall of guitars, which went from chugging rhythms to mind-bending solos with buttery ease. All this is topped up with the fairly nasal, yet still-venomous spitting of petulant, sneering lyrics by singer Pete. The combined effect was like a train driven by a psychotic engineer, more conducive to pogoing than traditional headbanging (which may explain some of the audience’s early confusion). The songs are all fairly short and pithy, which means that all of their awesomeness is packed into short, frenzied stretches, making for a very effective live act. The amount of energy in the performance was exhausting even to observers, and it made the songs even more primal and visceral. At points, the guitarist even jumped off-stage to plough his way, screaming, through the spectators, which was an excellent way to jumpstart the audience into action.
They sounded almost like the Accüsed at points (whose crossover thrash mixed many elements of hardcore and metal), especially during Tyler Durden. They have a more alternative side to their sound as well, as in Valkyries, whose texture-oriented dissonance made it sound more contemporary. By the time You Fucked Our…came around, you began to wonder just how many killer riffs one guitarist could have up his sleeve, because every song was juicily riff-laden. This did have a downside, as in Live Die Scarred, in which the riffing was a bit excessive, as well as very generic 80s metal in its style. Basically, for the most part, the tension created by the rhythm section was extremely well balanced with the levity of the guitar, and the songs grabbed you by the throat and didn’t let go – which is exactly why they’re playing in a Heavy show, isn’t it?
Live Review from Underground 82:
Thats right. The End.
Joking. ‘TIA’ are a four piece hardcore punk act. I was speaking to Joe the drummer before they took to the stage and he took my pen and wrote their review for me. ‘Sexy purveyors of awesome metal treats. They bought it … HARD’ Which to be honest is a pretty good way to summarise the band. Not sure about the sexy part though Joe … Just looking at the dudes, you knew they were gonna indeed ‘bring it’ from before the first note is hit. When that note did hit, you again knew exactly what was coming. What was quite interesting about Ammunition, is that, although it’s definitely heavy, there’s elements which ‘lighten’ it a little making it more accessible to listeners who normally wouldn’t dig these kind of ‘metal treats.’ The boys put on one heck of a show with the singer and beast of a guitarist thrashing out, in amongst the crowd. Joe beats the absolute shit out of the drum kit and bassist Steve cut himself open from pounding his bass. Badass! The crowd thoroughly appreciated their efforts and head banged in return. At one point I was briefly pushed into a three man mosh pit (so more just drunken individuals flaying about I guess is more accurate). Fearing one of these poor boys may become victim to my pen (of which I was still holding) I decided it was quickly time to end it and continue my journalistic professionalism. (pfffffffffffft) Great set by ‘TIA’ very entertaining!