Live Review: Flood of Red – Trillians, Newcastle, March 6th 2011

Coming all the way from Essex seems like quite a trek for a small Newcastle show; nonetheless, Tomorrow Belongs To Us have made said trek, and go on pretty much straight after doors. While their music is pretty bog-standard by any stretch of the imagination, it’s worth noting vocalist Rob Maddison has a mad hefty roar in his lungs. Surely he’d be a lot better suited to a metalcore band that this somewhat bland hybrid of A Day To Remember-esque easycore. It’s not that the band do anything particularly wrong at all, but they pull out a mixed box of songs that sound like it’s all just been done before, and the quintet need to really find their sound to progress any further.

From A Day To Remember-esque, to A Day To Remember-esque…with synth. Local boys Headlights! Headlines! carry on their trend of a revolving door of members by recruiting new vocalist Seb Pickersgill – this is his first show, and for a first attempt, it’s not half bad. The breakdowns are pretty blistering, the singing is a little off, the screaming is powerful, maybe even a little too heavy-handed for a band like this, but it seems to get people moving, which is more than any other act tonight can claim. Again, it’s been done before – but this is slightly better.

Post-metalcore brooders This Is Divine stick to a heatier amount of newly written material tonight, and with a well-established set, image, and live show behind them, it’s brilliant to hear how they’ve progressed – their new licks sound darker, a hell of a lot more mature, and have an almost Devil Sold His Soul-ish quality to them. Granted, vocalist Chris Baty stumbles on some lyrics in places, but the band are still an immensely tight act. So it raises a massive query – why is nobody digging it? A polite round of applause at best is all the 5-piece get tonight, which is somewhat disheartening – a quick rendition of Dear Armourer fades out a little sadly, and it all ends pretty abruptly. It’s quite the robbery, as This Is Divine have without a doubt shown up every other band here tonight, and in some style.

Local bafflers In Oceans are back for another round in Trillians, and it’s simply a case of “more of a good thing” – the band have proven time and time again that they’re shaping up to be one of the North-East’s gems, and tonight their arty indie/spazz/core/thing they’ve got going down is once again nailed to the cross tightly. While it confuses the audience tonight more than engages them, the band seem to be enjoying themselves – they’ve managed to knock on the head the transition between heavier, more energetic parts and mind-boggling melodies, and a new track or two thrown in sound very promising indeed – it’s a case of now perhaps going into hibernation, and throwing these new tunes down into recorded form for the world to enjoy. Strong set, once again.

Flood Of Red have established themselves well and truly into the UK spring of talent in recent years, and although they may have lost countless fans and even their website along the way, the sextet just don’t seem to want to call it a day. Their uber-melodic wall of sound fills Trillians, even if vocalist Jordan Spiers sounds a little weak tonight. Paper Lungs sounds absolutely massive, but unfortunately that’s as “rock” as it gets, with key tracks like The Harmony and I Am The Speechless left out in the cold. Like Elephants still provides an oral orgasm, as it’s long, looping coolness engulfs the room, even if it doesn’t encourage any movement. New tracks sound like a big step in the right direction, and surprisingly contain some harsher vocal chords – a strange revelation considering the massively un-harsh step the band have taken in the past few years. Nobody really seems massively impressed with the band’s work tonight, which is a massive shame, but their set ends almost too abruptly with Little Lovers getting an outing after only around thirty minutes onstage. Flood Of Red are a band with massive potential – it’s just how they use it, that will count between taking a leap in the right direction they should (and hopefully will) be going in, and fading into UK Musical history’s books forever.

- George Cannings.
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