American Head Charge
Mastiff (Scunthorpe Only)
Club Academy – Manchester, 13th September 2017
The Lincoln Imp – Scunthorpe, 16th September 2017
Review by Cat A
All photos reproduced with permission from Steven Potter @ Scunthorpe Nights
Settle down Wyrd ones, it has been a while!
Of course, I couldn’t make my first live review in years a simple one, so this is an amalgamated review of the two shows I made it to in this Europe and UK run by the mighty American HeadCharge.
The cast of this tour is trans-oceanic, but first up in Scunthorpe at the Lincoln Imp were a local opener, Mastiff, who brought loud and dirty sludgy hardcore Metal to the early birds who lapped it up in anticipation of the feast to come. A good solid performance from the locals.
The first of the main lineup came from a little further afield. Hailing from Germany, Reptil. At first glance, their theatrical makeup and stage props including IV blood bags, did not appear to be something that I would enjoy… and then they started playing. For a band with only one album on the discography, Reptil are a refreshing blend of Metal genres with theatrics that could probably have done with slightly larger stages than were on offer on this tour (next time guys!). The frontman’s vocals had a wonderful range between growls and melodic that won over a skeptical crowd and gained more than a few fans, myself included (not least when our cries for tea were heeded in the Scunthorpe rain, thanks again, you absolute hero!). Who would have thought this cacophonic mix of beats that work so well together?
Special bonus points go to Reptil for the first observed use of a dance floor and tap shoes for percussion!
The most miles award has to go to In Death, all the way from sunny Brisbane to the glorious UK autumnal weather. I have one word about In Death – brutal!
From the off, they filled the stage with energy and started the pits early on. Again, I wouldn’t normally go for anything classed as Death Metal with an illegible logo, but there is a catchy groove that drags listeners into the music screaming and kicking. Thunderous percussion delivered with boundless, contagious energy. If you want clean vocals then you won’t find them here, but you will find beer kegs being used as instruments!
Liv Sin. If that sounds vaguely familiar and you can’t quite put your finger on it, think Sister Sin. In all honesty I hadn’t bothered to do my homework before these shows and with there being such a packed bill I expected to be quite impatient for the main event by the time Liv Sin appeared on the stage.
I was so happy to be proven wrong for the third time of the night in Manchester, and in Scunthorpe I was waiting with anticipation of the set ahead. The years of stage experience were obvious and Liv herself was a powerful presence on stage, cheering on the crowd into a frenzy with horrendously catchy Metal anthems that got stuck in my head and have been appearing as random earworms since.
This is real Metalhead feel good music at its finest.
The main event. American Head Charge. I apologise to the other bands for not knowing their music, but the headline was the reason for my presence. I will do better next time!
If you don’t know who American Head Charge are then please see here. Since that was written there have been some line-up changes, and some familiar names have returned to fill the gaps. Sadly Justin Fowler and Chad Hanks could not make it across the pond this time.
See you next time guys!
Taking over the guitar strings was old favourite Benji Helberg, Jeremiah “Trauma” Stratton of hed(PE) fame was the beast behind the drum kit and Michael Dwyer handled the bass for the run through Europe and the UK.
There was real anticipation at both venues for the return of a band who were lumped in to the Nu-Metal label despite being far more Industrial leaning. Looking around there was a real sense of nostalgia from the crowd. These were the Nu-Metal kids of the late nineties and early noughties, nearly two decades later who had to grow up, get jobs and the associated sensible haircut.
That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to mosh though.
From the first industrial notes of Let All The World Believe, through the well loved classics of All Wrapped Up, Dirty and the source of their latest video (you can see it below) Drowning Under Everything the crowd went absolutely insane! I would comment further on the crowd behaviour but being wedged up against the barrier for both shows I didn’t get a good look.
Old songs and new, there were cheers and yells for every single one, and for a band who have had such a drastic change to the line up the playing tight and the chemistry between them evident in a high energy set that barely paused for breath. Of course Just So You Know brought the house(s) down, particularly at Scunthorpe where it was played as an encore and dedicated to the life of a regular at the venue who had recently passed away.
What else can I say? I wish instead of writing this I was down in Milton Keynes for round 3. On a personal and completely fangirl note they were emotional evenings, and I will not deny and am not ashamed of crying like a Wand Erection fan in the front row.
If you’ve made it this far I salute you. I have broken my voice and I would do it again in a flash. See you at the next AHC show? I’ll be down the front dancing like a dork.
The latest American Head Charge video for Drowning Under Everything