LIVE REVIEW: Motionless In White @ KOKO - 25/1/18

If you rocked up to the KOKO on Thursday night you would’ve been greeted by hoards of youngsters all dressed up in black, wrapping around the venue and all down the street as they queued for a sold out Motionless In White gig. The American metalcore quintet have been going from strength to strength with each album as they’ve evolved, progressing from a sold-out show at the 500 cap Underworld two years ago, to a sold-out show at the KOKO (1,410 capacity). This clearly reinforces big expectations for one of the most sizable shows on ‘The Graveyard Shift’ UK/EU tour.

To warm up the crowd were Massachusetts metalcore band, Ice Nine Kills. Frontman Spencer Charnas brought an abundance of energy to the stage with his melodic screams and encouragement of crowd interaction, as he leapt down to the barrier several times throughout their set. Spencer’s vocals are also complimented by lead guitarist Justin DeBlieck, as they play a short array of songs from the past two albums. One of their most recent recognised songs, based upon The Shining by Stephen King, ‘Enjoy Your Slay’, really gets the crowd excited, being the latest single they released last year. (3/5)

Next up is Cane Hill, a band that have been wildly proclaimed as a band on the rise, and with their new album only being just days before this show, it was interesting to see how the crowd would react to the new songs. As the band came on stage, they certainly set a solid tone for their set, with real focused energy coming from every single member. Before they even start their set, their is a sense of anticipation from the growing crowd. Before long, frontman Elijah Witt addresses the crowd with “open this motherfucker up” and as the intro to a thrasher of an old song ‘Time Bomb’ begins, Witt actively encourages the crowd to give him more throughout.

Transitioning into two new tracks, ‘Lord of Flies’ and ‘It Follows’ generates head banging, fists in the air and even the chorus hooks being relayed back to them. A positive start for the band before they slow the set down for one of the more emotional songs from the new album - ‘Erased’ where we got to see the KOKO lit up by phone flashlights from the front, all the way up to the balconies. Finishing up with performances of songs ‘Too Far Gone’‘Cream Pie’ and ‘Fountain of Youth’ proclaim that Cane Hill are a band to be reckoned with, certainly leaving the audience with something to talk about before the main band. (3.5/5)

By the time Motionless In White were scheduled to come on, the crowd was packed out all the way from the front to the back of the bar and up the multiple balconies. As soon as the band materialise and the synths from the ‘Rats’ intro kicks in, they have everyone’s full attention. Lead singer Chris Motionless has said before that with their show production, they aim to bring a stadium show and theatrics to a club venue. There is no denying they put on one hell of a show for the masses that have come to see them; with incredible 3D lighting design, stage make up, and on this tour, two showgirls alongside them. With an evolving setlist throughout the tour, London witnessed a set full of crowd pleasers including old classics; ‘Immaculate Conception’‘A-M-E-R-I-C-A’ and ‘Abigail’.

Every song gets a strong reaction with dedicated fans belting out each word, headbanging and moshing to their hearts content. Feeding off this energy, Chris stomps and strides about in glossy PVC boots throughout. Half way through the set, he gives a clue to the next song asking if anyone has heard their album ‘Creatures’, the house lights beam on across the crowd as they roar back in response with fists in the air. With the overwhelming positive response resonating in the air he goes on to inform us they haven’t played this song in six years, it’s their infamous name appropriate song about Jack the Ripper – ‘London In Terror’.

Despite the number of old classics, the set is well balanced with anthems from last year’s ‘Graveyard Shift’ LP. Songs such as ‘Loud (Fuck It)’ and the Korn-inspired, ‘Necessary Evil’, are sung back loud and proud. As Ghost leads their emersion for the encore, the lighting design transitions to a hot pink with white strobes as the disco ball above shimmers and reflects across the entire room, setting the mood perfectly to evoke an emotional performance of the love song from the album – ‘Eternally Yours’. (4/5)

Although Motionless In White have taken a new direction with their music, they delivered a solid show. Benefitting from improved production, Motionless In White show they’re more than just a band. They are a whole artistic concept that thrives on the energy of their dedicated fans who have accepted their evolution.

4.5/5

Motionless In White links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Written for Already Heard.


2017 with Already Heard

As you all might already know, in March I joined Already Heard as a contributing photographer. Since then I have shot a few gigs for them, but it’s only just the beginning! The AH team have made me feel very welcome and I cannot commend them enough for the superb organisation behind all the features and reviews you see on their website. 

As the year draws to a close I have been asked to take part in presenting forth my top 10 records of the year, as well as writing up a succinct review of an album included in our “10 Albums From 2017 You Might’ve Missed” feature. 

If you haven’t come across these features yet, the links are listed below!

Read the Already Heard’s “Record of The Year 2017 - The Staff Picks” here, to see my top 10 records, favourite gig and festival of 2017.

Find out what we had to say about the albums you might’ve missed out on this year here, including my review of “With Might And Main” by Defences.

And if you’d like to see the photo sets I’ve contributed to AH so far, click here!

Don’t forget to keep up to date with Already Heard on…

Facebook

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Spotify - Listen to the “Best Songs of 2017” playlist here and check out more!


REVIEW: Defences - With Might and Main

Earlier this year, Defences, a Hertfordshire based alt-metal
band released “With Might and Main” unto the world to make its mark as their
stand out debut album, mixed by Jeff Juliano (Twenty One Pilots, PVRIS) and
mastered by Tim Debney (Biffy Clyro, Iron Maiden). But it might have just slipped
under your radar. Despite being a self-proclaimed “alternative metal” band this
album really showcased the extent of their abilities to adapt and incorporate
different sounds. Covering not only alt-metal, but a mix of subgenres too, such
as symphonic metal and post-hardcore. If you’ve ever wanted to find a kick ass
female fronted band that breaks free from the conformities of their genre, whilst
still maintaining a mature polished sound, then this album will be something
for you.

“With Might and Main” opens with a beautiful instrumental
track “Re Emerge” where lead singer Cherry Duesbury’s voice creeps through the
atmospheric piano in whispers and echoes “I’m not dreaming, I’m not dreaming
anymore”. Before long the crescendo of her voice leads into the next track “The
Takeoff” which is where things really do take off, with a striking drum intro
and lively guitar riffs they pick up the pace. They maintain the energy and
tempo as the track seamlessly flows to the next track “Two Steps Back”. Here we
really hear the dynamics between Cherry’s clean melodic voice and Ed Briggs’
raw screaming vocals, which really works and not too many bands can get that
mix right. The chorus showcases their complimentary vocals well whilst integrating
a catchy hook, which you can imagine invites a sing along when played live.
Throughout the album they display their maturity instrumentally and also
lyrically, this isn’t just an album that makes you want to head bang, but it
also pulls at your heartstrings, as it’s encased with a lot of meaningful
lyrics people can relate to. Great examples of this include, Let You In, Scared
and title track, With Might and Main.

Beginning in 2013 working on their own sound, as well as
this album for years, it is clear that their hard work has paid off now the
album has been brought to the light of day. Defences have achieved a lot with
their very first full-length album, so much so you would think they were
veterans. Look out for more big things from them in the new year.

Special accreditation goes to Ed Briggs for smashing the vocals on this album!

Top Tracks: Two Steps Back, Grow and Beneath The Surface.

Listen here on Spotify or, if you’re into physical copies, check out their web store here.

Graphics/Artwork: Make North

Photo: Fordtography

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