A Loss For Words – Birmingham Academy

By paul

A Loss for Words. Sound Bar, Birmingham. 8th March 2010.

I hope you’re sitting comfortably, this could be a long one. What I thought was a 3 band line up turned out to be 5. There may have even been 6 bands, as when I arrived I was told that the first band were just getting off stage, however there was no evidence of them throughout the evening so I was a little confused, especially as I was there 10 minutes before doors were even meant to open. If anybody would like to fill me in, please do!

Maycomb were the first band I saw, and most definitely set the tone for the night. The Wolverhampton band play more than your average pop punk and have a sort of Valencia feel about them and don’t have even the slightest hint of a Midlands accent. Unfortunately they were hindered by a substantial amount of feedback, meaning the vocals were kept quite low which did reduce the clarity. Drummer James was injured and on merch duty but Maycomb still held it together and played top quality pop punk. There was a reasonable sized crowd established already who took a little while to warm up but there were definite fans amongst them. Maycomb release their 5 track EP Crystal Tiger Blues at a hometown show next Tuesday (16th March) and I highly recommend checking them out.

Up next were They Sink Ships, who were again plagued by feedback and extreme levels of reverb on the vocals. The boys played to a high standard, producing catchy and punchy tunes. Vocalist Tom has a certain Adam Lazzara about him in the way he moves about the stage. Wonderfully energetic and clearly eager to please The Sink Ships left me with a smile on my face and an eagerness to hear more. Whilst not highly technical the band balances well and these guys tick all the right boxes and give exactly what you would expect from a pop punk band.

LYU are up next at tonights pop punk fest and certainly fit the bill. The 4 piece from Birmingham were fortunate enough to have much better sound which meant vocals were clear and the balance between instruments was just right and in this case focused towards the bass. Their sound differed a little from the first two bands with heavier guitars and some interesting time signature changes to create powerful intense songs which hold their own in this massively flooded genre. It’s clear that LYU take their influence from a variety of artists which is reflected in the structure of the songs and the techniques used, although clumsy at times they played with style. Unfortunately the crowd was beginning to disappear a bit by this point so there were a lot who missed out. I’m probably going to sound like a broken record, but LYU are another fantastic British band to check out, especially if you want something a little bit weightier than your average punk rock.

Brummies All or Nothing were next up on what was turning out to be a great local line up. The harmonies between Tom and Rich were almost pitch perfect and were accompanied by catchy riffs, whilst the pace was stepped up by toe tapping beats from drummer Nick. The 8 or so song setlist contained 3 as yet unnamed songs as well as both tracks off last years split EP with Chaos Days and finished with ‘Hate Being the Dip Guy’ in which All or Nothing really prove their worth. The only downfall was that they didn’t come on until just after 10, meaning a lot of the crowd had already left or filtered to the back to sit down. There’s true spirit and passion in these guys which didn’t stop them from putting on a professional show in what was essentially a pub gig. Their energy filled the room and it’s easy to imagine All or Nothing playing much larger venues than this. Get on the All or Nothing bandwagon now otherwise you’ll be left behind.

A little less local, A Loss for Words hail from Boston which is the home to so many good bands I’m pretty sure you aren’t allowed to claim to be from there if you are any less than awesome. A Loss for Words back up my theory and powered through a 35 minute high paced set. Even though the stage was cramped, lead vocalist Matt threw himself around the stage and his energy must have rubbed off on the crowd who had began to look a little tired. All of the songs came from their debut album ‘The Kids Can’t lose’ and included a cover of The movie Life’s ‘Face or Kneecaps’ which they definitely did justice. Songs were quick and managed to maintain an edge, staying away from the overly produced sound we often hear. Vocals were punchy and the band have a clear talent for song writing and playing. Another really strong pop punk band who are fighting to be heard. They are most definitely worth taking the time to check out.