Asking Alexandria – O2 Academy, Islington

By Tom Aylott

Sometimes, it is imperitive to keep an open mind. Frustrating as it is to read ‘this isn’t usually my sort of thing’, an admittance must be made that I’m not expert on the new breed of synth-screamo/metalcore “thing” that’s doing the rounds at the moment. That said, I’m a fairly objective chap usually, so tonight’s Islington Academy triple bill was exciting because, after all, variety is the spice of life.

THE AMITY AFFLICTION [3.5/5] kick the evening off, and despite the expected questionable and fairly well rehearsed-in-a-mirror dance moves, they’re really quite interesting to watch. There’s a good balance between the screamier and sung parts, and if you’ve any interest in the genre, well worth a listen. The most impressive thing is the crowd reaction: it’s barely 7pm, and the crowd are notably up for it. Not bad at all for the opening band of the night.

MISS MAY I [4/5], however, struggle to make the same impression. The shouted vocals are really thin on the ground throughout the set, and it feels much less organised than the previous band on the bill. They get a good reaction regardless, but it all feels a bit samey, and there’s nothing to get your teeth stuck into. It’s a prime problem within the genre that the bands struggle to reproduce recorded sound, and hopefully it’s just an off night rather than a regular occurance.

Taking the night home, ASKING ALEXANDRIA [3/5] come on stage to a bit of a frenzy. It’s with great curiousity that the exponential rise of bands like Asking Alexandria occurs because, without commenting on style – the genre is relatively niche but seems to draw in some great crowds. The band aren’t really known well outside of the alternative rock community but their fanbase is rabid, and they know how to put on a show.

The songs do tend to blend into each other after a while , and the crowd interaction is pretty laboured, but the band have put the work in, so fair play to them.

Sure, some of it is horrendously cheesy and plays into the hands of people eager to denounce “the latest fad”, and the mishmash of styles has some massive flaws even in concept, but in the here and now, no-one gives a shit.