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LIVE REVIEW: Comeback Kid, Svalbard, Boston Music Room, London, 08/07/19

There are very few bands that have contributed as much as Comeback Kid have to their genre. The group have been around for nearly two decades at this point and have spent the entirety of their career churning out a seemingly endless stream of metal-infused hardcore punk tracks, influencing countless younger bands along the way. Tonight they descend upon the nations’ capital, the Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park to be exact. A venue that screams DIY punk from its small stage and worn out interior to the beaten up toilets and old support beams in the middle of the floor. A perfect setting for all things punk.

Opening tonight’s proceedings are the British hardcore/post-metal/crust hybrid band Svalbard. A group that have been pulling up trees since their inception in 2011, culminating with last years tremendous release It’s Hard To Have Hope. The band hit the stage and dive straight into The Damage Done with its overwhelming atmospherics and punishing riffs it sets the tone for the rest of the set. The two guitarists trade off with the vocals, each with their own savage delivery. The drums are thunderous and pair up with the high paced riffs to create a real sonic display of power, that appears to take the London contingent completely off guard. The fact that this set is only six songs long almost feels like a shame when the quality and originality of the music being shown is of this level. By the time the band close their set with Revenge Porn, the band have poured every ounce of their being in and have won over the crowd emphatically. If these guys carry on this upwards trajectory it won’t be long before they are headlining the bigger venues in London themselves. 8/10

Comeback Kid take to the stage and dive straight in to Do Yourself A Favour from their stellar 2010 release Symptoms + Cures which sounds as fresh and full of life as it did almost a decade ago. The band then show the crowd exactly the kind of mixed bag of a set they are in for tonight, shifting into Surrender Control from last years Outsider delivering the first real singalong moment of the night.

From the very outset of the performance, tonight people are throwing themselves from the stage and moshing like it is their last night on earth and that is just the kind of hysteria that Comeback Kid create when they are in the element. False Idols Fall and G.M Vincent And I both keep the high velocity going before the band throw it all the way back to the first song they ever composed as a unit with the incomparable All In A Year, a real testament to the high calibre of music the group has created from the very get-go.

Next up the band deliver a trifecta of hits from three completely separate albums Wasted Arrows, Should Know Better and Broadcasting… that flow as though they were all from the same period of their extensive back catalogue. At this point, the pit in the middle of the floor has grown to the size of a moon crater and there is now more beer spilt on the floor than you would find at your local beer hall but nobody seems to care. This is a night for celebrating punk music and the unity that comes along with it.

Talk Is Cheap and Partners In Crime from the band’s classic Wake The Dead album sound absolutely unstoppable tonight, this is clearly a period of the band’s history that resonates deeply with the band’s London faithful and it is sung back wholeheartedly as is Lower The Line from the Die Knowing album.

The boys then deliver a truly breathtaking rendition of the evergreen hardcore classic Wake The Dead and the venue descends into chaos. There are bodies everywhere, mass group hugs, beers being thrown to all parts of the room and a smell of body odour that is frankly pretty disarming but that is the spirit of punk music at its very core. Comeback Kid have been a staple of the genre from their very inception and tonight is undisputed proof of that very fact.

They came, they saw, the conquered and we couldn’t be happier. 9/10

Written By: Rich Webb

Richard Webb
A Kentish lad in his early thirties. I'm a journalist that loves anything grizzly and gruesome whether it's in music, film or art. My guitar and vinyl collections are amongst my prize possessions and my wardrobe is predominantly black.