LIVE : Black Shapes, Grayscale, OHHMS, Grin & Bear It @ Our Black Heart, Camden

By Samarth Kanal
Black Shapes at Our Black Heart

Grin and Bear It opened proceedings, playing hardcore-tinged punk rock to an enthusiastic smattering of people at the Black Heart. A week earlier I witnessed The Bronx tear up Hackney and I was hoping for something as sharp and head-splitting. Grin and Bear It complied, with some excellent drumming complementing the solid guitar work. Definitely a band worth checking out just off the back of their buzzing live show.

OHHM’s bassist deserves credit for the amount of energy that he seemed to emit, flailing, thrashing and generally refusing to stop moving for the whole set. It was unrelenting noise, best described as a never-ending breakdown. Their upcoming EP is out soon and it’ll be interesting to see how the raw live act translates to a studio setting.

Grayscale managed to bring their melodic, emo-revival sound to The Black Heart really effectively. The vocal harmonies were spot on and changes in the timing and tempo were done seamlessly. Credit should go to the drummer, Houston Robertson for keeping up the rhythm. Perhaps there were some issues with the timing of the sets as Grayscale’s set seemed to be shorter – maybe it was a case of time flying and so on…

Black Shapes were on last, and there seemed to be a great deal of faffing with amps and pedals and the like. Technical issues are easily excusable if they’re resolved without much fuss or if the band manages to explode onto the stage with buckets of ferocity. Fortunately, Black Shapes satisfied the latter criteria with Gareth Evan’s vocals searing and splitting the air right off the bat. The technical issues, unfortunate as they were, served as a calm before the storm. The wait was definitely worth it then, to see the satisfaction in the faces of the band as the punchy, loud-as-all-hell hardcore was unleashed as they meant it to. Sure, the crowd wasn’t substantial but those present would surely agree that it’s gratifying leaving a gig so loud and frantic that you need a moment to collect your thoughts.