My Awesome Compilation – Scunthorpe Lincoln Imp

By paul

The bill dreams are made of – and all to be found in the sleepy steel backwater we all know and love as Scunthorpe. The Lincoln Imp played host to a veritable feast of Punktastic-approved bands, all showcasing variations on the theme of ’emo’; ranging from the schizophrenia-inducing The Next Autumn Soundtrack, the poptones of Tomorrow Never Came, the amazing My Awesome Compilation right through to the screamingly vicious My Favourite Co-Pilot. It was a bill that could not, and did not, disappoint.

Although there were a few behind-the-scenes problems with various mics and the PA beforehand, TOMORROW NEVER CAME quickly dispelled the technical isues with a set that again belittled their youth. Improving fast, they still have a way to go but this will certainly come with practice. Guitarist James is the younger brother of Jason from Audio Karate as he wheels out lead riff after lead riff, while bassist Tom puts everything into the performance. Songs like ‘Face In A Photograph’ really showcase their talent, going further than the 3-minute pop songs they are obviously influenced by. To be hyper critical one or two of the songs do seem to drag past 4-minutes a bit but the signs are looking good and it wouldn’t surprise me if labels start to knock at the door soon. (7.5)

I knew I’d witnessed something special when I saw Grimsby’s THE NEXT AUTUMN SOUNDTRACK in a battle of the bands I was judging last year. By far the most jaw-droppingly awesome set I’d seen all year, it left me gagging for more. It took 6 months for me to track them down but here I am (even managing the poor souls). Tonight, fresh from playing in front of six people in Scarborough the night before, TNAS are nothing short of sensational. It’s difficult to describe what you get from the TNAS experience. Imagine the melodies of The Appleseed Cast, the aggressiveness of early Thursday and the sheer energy of At The Drive In and you have absolutely nothing like a description that does them justice – but a lazy comparison nonetheless. Bassist Joseph and guitarist Alex contort and twist and jump and fall, while drummer Emm and vocalist/guitarist Sammie keep the whirlwinds at bay and steady the ship. The songs really do the talking, opener ‘I Said Anything Goes, So Everything Went’ is a five minute thumper, blowing away the cobwebs yet maintaining the most subtle and complex riffs. It all ends with the three axemen sprawled across the floor fighting with each other with a wall of feedback reverbarating around the room. There’s blood, sweat and the sense you’ve just witnessed a band that are destined for massive things. You just know when you’ve seen something life changing – TNAS are that band. (9)

After that, MY FAVOURITE CO-PILOT are really up against it, but in their hands you know there’s no need to panic. The guys are fast becoming one of my UK faves and their ‘South Drive’ record is one of my favourites of the year so far. Choice cuts tonight include ‘Kiss Me I’m Bleeding’ and the wicked ‘Everything’, with John’s piercing screams and Ian’s guitars bashing each other like a fight to the death. Harder than TNAS but certainly more accessible, another band where you just have to believe the hype. Incidentally they played Grimsby the following evening and were even better, with ‘Would You?’ rounding off a highly impressive weekend of music. If you haven’t checked them out yet, be sure that you do. (8)

Speaking of bands destined for big things, MY AWESOME COMPILATION are really going for it. Heading off to San Diego in July to record a 7-track mini-album for Bravestar, the Leicester foursome are going places fast. We’re big fans here at Punktastic, as many of you are too, and there are two reasons for it. One, they are literally THE nicest guys; two, they’ve written some of the best edgy guitar pop songs this century. Tonight they are faced with a crowd of only around 40 people, but half of those are dancing along and singing with every word. ‘Giving Up’ and ‘Miracle Mile’ are absolute gems while newies ‘Wish You Well’ and the gorgeous ‘Butterflys’ show that they can mix up the edgier with the downright sincere and beautiful. I could see this band every night and not get bored and I have every faith they will make it on both sides of the pond, but for one night only, they were marginally upstaged by someone else. Not that MAC were bad at all (I don’t think it’s possible), simply TNAS were that good. (8.5)

Gig of the year so far? Absolutely…