LIVE: Obey The Brave / Polar / Counting Days @ Boston Music Room, London

By James Davenport

Hardcore like just about every other style of music has itself got a set of further sub-genres these days but despite the musical differences the core values tend to be very much the same. Tonight sees the London’s Boston Music Room playing host to a selection of hardcore bands that fit that description.

Sadly, Sundays can be hit or miss when it comes to attendance and unfortunately as London’s Counting Days get underway the audience numbers are still fairly slim. A shame, considering they rip through a mix of metallic hardcore numbers peppered with the odd post-rock segments, quite the contrast in comparison to their punishing break downs.

Taking the stage to a dubstep track that appears to make the speaker stacks wobble, Polar bring a sorely needed testosterone injection to the show. From the off, their energy levels are sky high and although there are now more bodies in the room, a majority of them are still only just waking up. As frontman Adam Woodford splits the crowd down the middle as they attempt to create a ‘wall of death’, a ballsy move to pull on your opening number. Although the attempt doesn’t quite go to plan and ends up more along the lines of ‘wall of mild inconvenience’, Polar’s persistence to get those in attendance fully on board soon pays off. Their reverb heavy and layered vocals are further emphasised by a guest appearance from Harvey Freeman (Giants, Snakes) making tonight’s performance one they can be proud of as well as proving themselves to be one tough act to follow.

Having recently released their album ‘Mad Season’, Canada’s Obey The Brave keep the wheels turning and the energy levels up high as they burst into action without a moment’s hesitation. Taking no prisoners, their lively performance literally brings down part of the back drop as they tear through tracks such as ‘On Thin Ice’ and ‘Drama’, clearly two fan favourites from the new record.

Despite having the general swagger of a rapper as opposed to the frontman of a hardcore / metalcore band, vocalist Alex Erian maintains a commanding presence whilst stirring up the crowd. OTB performance is sickeningly slick as their breakdowns, cavorting riffs and stadium size gang chants keep the crowd moving to the end, demonstrating that they’re not a band to be slept on and are absolutely brimming with potential.

Despite the fact that the number of people at tonight’s show was somewhat less than expected, the gig will remain all the more special for those that did attend. It’s not every day that such an intimate showcase of staunch, ardent, up and coming bands passes through, don’t blink or you might just miss it.