A Destructive Issue – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

It’s not very often that I actually get to gigs anymore – it doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day and everything has to be regimentally organised in my diary. It sucks, it seems many moons ago now that I was a beer-swilling lazy fuck at university, but with every passing year I find more and more ‘adult’ things to do – meaning less and less spontaneous gig action. However, when I have several friends recommend a previously unheard of band, and this coincides with a free Saturday which happens to be the day before my 24th birthday, you just know beer must be drunk and a good time must be had. So off I popped to the Cockpit, charged an extortionate fiver for a couple of local bands and settled down, pint in hand.

UNION JACKASS probably shouldn’t have bothered mind. Playing to a reasonably full room, if this isn’t the pinnacle of their career then I’ll be shocked. It’s all so incredibly cliched – singer wears baseball cap and Atticus t-shirt and couldn’t be more like Tom DeLonge if he tried. The three-way vocals sound trite, with none of the band actually able to hold a note and it’s only the incredible drumming which adds any kind of qualiy to proceedings. When a band butchers a Box Car Racer cover, ‘I Feel So’, pulling apart any power or emotion, you know that things aren’t going your way. The band’s own songs are devoid of fresh ideas, coming across like Blink 182 on an extremely bad day. OK, so I’m being harsh, but Union Jackass (terrible name by the way), need to forge their own identity, because a) there are too many Blink wannabes in the world already and b) they’re not very good at being a Blink wannabe. As a result, 25 minutes is more than enough and a ripple of polite applause at the end is generous. Don’t give up the day jobs. (2)

The reason I was here was to scout out A DESTRUCTIVE ISSUE, a band I’d heard many good things about. A five-piece, they’ve only been going 6-months and look as if they’re all still in college. But fuck are they good. I needed just half a song to make my mind up that I would like this band – and I haven’t felt that way about an unsigned act since I saw The Next Autumn Soundtrack over a year ago. ADI come across like Thrice having a knife fight with Stories and Comets; there’s melodies all over the shop as frenzied guitar riffs stab at you incessantly. Bits of songs come across like Alexisonfire with the breakdowns and intelligent use of drums, while others are far more structured. The band even manage to pull off a note perfect cover of ‘Deadbolt’ by Thrice – the only thing lacking is Dustin Kensrue‘s power. The vocalist himself is a potential star, demanding your attention without even trying while lead guitarist and bassist, hair flailing like a member of At The Drive In, have more action that a Paris Hilton home movie. Sure, it’s not perfect and there’s still work to do, but A Destructive Issue show they have enough to forge a niche in the UK scene. They’re not the most original band in the world, yet at the same time do things differently. There’s an intelligence and maturity seemingly above their years and they have a stage presence without needing the arrogance that many bands appear to have. With some hard work this lot could be very, very good indeed; the foundations are there, it’s just how much do they want it? This won’t be the last you hear of them, that’s for sure…(8)