Defeater – Camden Underworld

By Andy

Familiar story for the Underworld ? I apologise profusely to Rendition and Landscapes for having missed their sets, but with doors open so early I was still sitting in front of a computer screen miles away as people started filing into the venue.

So, I arrived in time to watch Leeds band BURN ALASKA [3/5], who pulled out some frenetically played, straight up English hardcore ? one guitar, minimal intricacies. In retrospect, the sheer tightness of Carparthian straight after them made Burn Alaska seem a little lacklustre, but they played a solid set and really brought some energy. The deadness of the crowd didn?t help proceedings, mind.

CARPATHIAN [4/5], be contrast, were ruthless. Absolutely fucking ruthless. The Australian quintet tore through a short set, the vocalist spending a decent amount of time amongst the crowd, the whole band encouraging a revolving door of people running on, and launching themselves off, the stage. Borrowing liberally from their ?Isolation? album, Carparthian may not have had the subtleties and anthemic riffs of Defeater, but they pulled off pure intensity. I?m sure they made a lot of new fans among the growing Defeater army tonight.

The last time I saw DEFEATER [4/5] was the same venue, in much the same situation, so I knew what to expect. Or I thought I did. The difference, now, it seems, is that this band are getting bigger by the day. At the first notes of second track ?The Red, White and Blues?, the slightly dormant back 80% of the crowd came to life. Before that, the audacious acoustic opener even did the trick. Defeater could do no wrong at all this evening. Clearly humbled, thanking anyone and everyone at every opportunity, they rattled through most of their really quite special EP, ?Lost Ground?, mixed in with tracks from both the first full length and the new one. At one point, vocalist Derek mused that ?Carparthian are a hell of a lot tighter than we are, give it up for those guys?. I?m not sure anyone in the venue really cared. People see something in this band, a sense of dynamics, that doesn?t exist in many bands. That, at a hardcore show, a band can begin and end a set with acoustic tunes merely goes to show that they are the future of intelligent hardcore. It may not have been the tightest set, and Derek was so close to losing his voice at times that I felt for him, but this was a self-assured set that only comes from the kind of atmosphere the band and the crowd pulled off tonight.