Blue and green record exploding into shards

Black Scar Crossing -Live (The Rebel Ching)

It’s been ages since I’ve been to The Joiners. The winter period tends to bring an increase in arena-sized gigs and a decrease in small venue tours, and this little place is a pleasant change from the grandeur of my recent visits to Brighton Centre and Bournemouth BIC. The initial instinct is to hang around the bar and just drink, a habit that Christmas has instilled and I am pretty reluctant to shake off. Thing is, I’m here to see some bands, and I’ve already missed the first band. So in I go to check out the oddly-named The Rebel Ching. I’m sure it means something clever.

The first thing I see as I make my way to the front of the room is the cameras. Several relatively high-spec cameras are spotted around the small area filming the band as they perform. I spend so much time trying to figure out what the hell is going on that I disregard the music for the first few tracks, a fact that indicates quite average music. Tight it undeniably is, but unique it certainly is not. My initial reaction is ‘sounds like Arctic Monkeys’, and had the said band not done it all before this would be very impressive indeed. ‘Fill Him In’ is so similar to a song by Arctic Monkeys that I have to check with myself it isn’t a cover. The band plays with gusto and confidence (too much at times) and look comfortable on stage. Pretty impressive if you can tolerate the Gallagher brothers-influenced stage chat. Arrogance isn’t for everyone, least of all me.

As for the cameras, well they’re too expensive-looking to be for a college project, but I see no Bravo or ITV Local stickers so a dodgy rockumentary is out of the question. As with most situations like this, it is simply best to ask, which I do, and discover that the cameramen have been hired by the band to shoot their performance for promotional purposes. I’d be interested to see the results, as most of all The Rebel Ching have a great sound and I’d like to see if it is captured on the recording.

Black Scar Crossing have played here before, on a night during which alcohol-fuelled my evening pretty efficiently. I seem to recall worshipping some guitar work executed that night, albeit quite a vague memory. This slick fingerwork is soon on show once more, with my sober mind able to appreciate the intricacies that fly by too quickly for the delayed reactions of a drunk person. Black Scar Crossing play grimy, riff-laden metal in the vein of Pantera (they even cover Domination), in such a way that makes all the image-conscious bands around at the moment seem even more contrived and pointless. BSC are about fun, and they lead by example by having the time of their lives on stage. Although there is quite a large crowd tonight we really needn’t be here. They’d love it all the same.

Similar to The Rebel Ching, BSC are not the most original band in the world; I mean they’re covering a band who emulated their idols pretty unashamedly early in their own career. However, this is not the point with BSC. They don’t claim to be breaking molds or setting trends, they’re concentrating more on making lots of loud noises to make people dance / mosh / headbang. At times the bass, dual guitar, and double bass drum get too much, but there’s always a decent breakdown riff around the corner to revive the situation.

The bassist is phenomenal, as are the guitarists. Some impressive stuff to watch and listen to for any fan of guitar music, whether or not you enjoy a bit of hair metal from time to time. However, for the metal purists, the vocalist is pure Anselmo; Cowboys From Hell style!

Guest article from Matt S.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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