24 Feb 2018
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  • Gig Review: Armed in Advance, Fallstate and AnimalHead @ Backbeat, Auckland - 8/12/2017

Gig Review: Armed in Advance, Fallstate and AnimalHead @ Backbeat, Auckland - 8/12/2017

16 Dec 2017 // A review by Channel1
Back at Backbeat. Deja vu, is a feeling you get when you see a lot of bands in Auckland. The same bands playing with the same bands at the same venues and sounding very similar to each other. Back at Backbeat I am keeping an open mind.

West Auckland three-piece AnimalHead take to the stage and after the opening track the sense of Deja vu was strong but there was an edge, something niggling away in the background, you could feel it. Drummer Dan looked fired up and then it happened, just as I thought we were in safe radio friendly unit shifter territory the tempo changes and the song shifts gear into thrash and then into some kind of doom metal all in one track. It was like a breath of fresh air and the band build on this during a very tight, energetic set. When the guitar solos hit, the rhythm section was still on overload avoiding any musically wankery and singer Campbell has a great punk voice. They kept it interesting and this is one band to watch out for.

Fallstate take the stage to some audio about 'Pussies and dicks' - the five-piece are all smiles and the energy in the room has gone up a few notches. Their opening song is like Blink 182 gone screamo a combination of pop-punk meets rock with an added twist of lemon and a heavy dose of punk. The band are a blur of energy and the chemistry between all the members is rock solid.

Another thing that happens when you go out and see lots of bands is every now and then one jumps and out grabs you. They stand out, they demand your attention and you just forget about the genre or what the singer looks like or how good the drummer is. You get swept along, taken in and are left exhilarated. This is Fallstate, they have taken a bunch of influences put it through a blender and come out with something unique. Even at this early stage they could take any stage anywhere in the world and hold their own.

Armed in Advance played a lot in 2017, and playing Backbeat must feel like playing in their own front room by now. They haven't been resting on their laurels though and tonight they bring a few new songs into the mix. I have said before that AIA are one of the tightest bands around and their riff-heavy songs are impossible to ignore. JP just has a knack for coming up with killer riffs and writing songs that stick in your head. The new songs are following on from this formula and whilst not being a major change in direction they are adding some variation and depth.

They include a cover of by of my favourite bands Chevelle, I don't like bands doing covers but they do this one well and of course, the crowd loves it. Following Fallstate wouldn't be easy and you can see it has fired up AIA, there is more passion, more energy.They are playing with commitment and you can tell they mean it. AIA are still on track, they are growing, the hard work is paying off and if they keep pushing the boundaries further things could get really interesting.

You can feel good music. It isn't something you need to think about. It doesn't hit you in the head, you feel it in the crotch. It speeds up your heart. Tonight these three bands have put on a little big show in the big little city and shown that Rock music isn't dead.


Review written by Paul Goddard

About Armed In Advance

Armed In Advance are a heavy rock trio from Auckland with a penchant for ruthlessly efficient, hard hitting post-grunge songs laced with pop sensibilities and thought provoking undertones. Hailing from Auckland, the band is made up of JP Carroll (guitar and vocals), Hugh Hokopaura (bass) and Ryan Thomas (drums).

Since starting out in 2013 under the moniker of Stitches, AIA have released an EP (Stitches EP, 2014) and a full length (Change/Evolve, 2016), and have subsequently had the honor of 5 songs gracing the NZ rock radiowaves over that time. The most recent success of rotation play for single Same Old Story on the country’s biggest rock radio station, the Rock FM, paved the way for a debut full length album described as “refreshing… modern hard rock with a point of difference.” (Muzic.net.nz)
Change/Evolve reached #9 on the NZ album charts, and was accompanied by a sold out Auckland release show. Two tracks from Change/Evolve were deemed worthy of NZ On Air funded music video grants (Same Old Story, Running You Down).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Armed In Advance

Releases

Change/Evolve
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Harder Times
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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