LIVE REVIEW: As Lions, From Ashes To New, Anavae, Upstairs at The Garage, 08/06/2016
We at Bring The Noise UK are big fans of Better Noise Records, so when they invited us to come to a showcase from some of their most exciting bands we jumped at the chance. On that summery Wednesday evening we took a trip down to the tiny bar upstairs at The Garage to see just what they had to offer.
Opening the show in this intimate setting were Anavae, with the London-based two piece bolstering their live band with three other session players, looking to showcase tracks from their upcoming EP. Singer Rebecca Need-Menear is absolutely tiny, but commanded the stage right from the start of massive opener Anti-Faith, holding the crowd’s attention with her hugely emotive performance and the band’s killer tunes. Anavae have evolved since their two 2013 EPs, replacing the bass with electronics which gives the new songs an edge – although last year’s single Feel Alive recalls early Paramore, brand new single All or Nothing delivers pulsating electronics before Jamie Finch‘s huge guitar riff kicks in. All of the new songs receive a great reception, and by the time their set ended with the entire band pulling out drums to pound out an almost tribal rhythm over twitching, wobbling bass, Anavae have probably pulled in the biggest crowd of the night.
That was a great platform to set for American nu-metallers From Ashes to New. This was their first ever UK show and they were determined to have fun with it, throwing drumsticks between each other and with new lead guitarist Lance Dowdle, who came on wearing a Slipknot-like glow in the dark mask, flinging his picks out into the crowd at every opportunity. And while the crowd didn’t warm to them quite as much as Anavae, the fact that they were having a great time was infectious. Their set was a good mix of early songs and tracks from this year’s highly-acclaimed album Day One, with the massive Through It All and set-closer Stay This Way getting the best reception. Nu-metal has mostly gone off the boil since the mid-2000s, but the Philadelphia five-piece reminded us so much of early Linkin Park that we couldn’t help but grin – who knows, maybe this will be the start of a revival.
Revival has been the name of the game for the night’s headliners As Lions too, rising from the ashes of Rise to Remain with a new sound; but from what we saw, all the same star quality. This show was the first outing for some new material from their upcoming EP, and all signs point to it being to be an absolute belter. Singles White Fags and The Fall both sound great live, but it was the opening and closing tracks that really stood out – the former a pummelling barrage of double-pedal drums and screamed vocals, the latter a riff-laden headbanger which had the whole bar jumping. Tonight they occupied a space somewhere in the space between Bullet For My Valentine and early Young Guns, with all the potential to break into the mainstream that both those giants had, and it was incredibly exciting to see.
Better Noise Records have got some proper gems on their hands with these three acts, and with time, we see no reason why they can’t go far.
Written by: Josh Prentice