This line up of four bands at The Joiners, Southampton, had a distinctly metal flavour which was interpreted in different ways by each band.
The first of these varieties came from Through These Lies, who offered a post-hardcore sound backed up by metal guitar riffs. This was their first gig, so the slight issues that arose should disappear as they find their collective feet. A bit of work on the sung aspect of the vocal as well as the songs themselves would be of benefit to this band.
Stalefish1 were second up with a top-shelf vocal and songs that had the ability to stun. Their sound is comparable to Godsmack which also included some insanely spidery riffs, all backed up by a massive bass sound. Their first song, ‘Ventilate’, and the penultimate song, ‘Long Term’, were the pick of the set, though the quality was present in every song. It was good to hear a band that knew how to be loud but also knew when to pull everything back to nothing for a screaming harmonic or tight vocal line.
PDIHM took the third slot and managed to impress despite the distraction of trying to work out if one of their singers was actually Matt Damon in disguise. The double-frontman approach wasn’t a gimmick either, with PDIHM producing live the intense mix of vocals that most bands only achieve in the studio. Aside from the metal that was the foundation of their set, ‘As Good as Dead’ demonstrated their more atmospheric side.
Headliners, A New Approach, tended towards a more nu-metal sound with a little bit of EMO and even some hardcore on the fringes. Some incredibly hard-hitting drumming was the order of the day with lots of enthralling fills sitting quite comfortably along side all the other instruments. The songs themselves were good enough to grab the crowd’s attention too, and the song structures, along with the youthful looks of the band, could have them compared to the heaviest bands on the Drive-Thru label. However, the guitar kept things travelling down the dusty metal route rather than pop-punk highway.
A New Approach have got some great general appeal that could easily turn them into one of those bands that tempts people into the world of metal, without having both feet firmly planted there themselves.