Pro-Pain / Gurd / Fury of Five / Pissing Razors

Derby Victoria

Mar 15 1998

Once more, my wonderful sense of timing and punctuality meant that I arrived just as Pissing Razors were about to start their last song. Ah well. Can't really make any comments as a result, but it did give an impression of Fear Factory style metal. Next time I'll actually try and get there on time. Great name though. Wonder if anyone has used Shitting Bricks as a name for a band?

It's possibly part of their masterplan to piss people like me off, so I'll bite anyway, but you can't help but think of the irony of it all when you see a big poster for Pulp's new album called This is Hardcore when you're in a venue with four bands playing pretty extreme music, with a hardcore crossover element, who are helping each other out. Hardcore is whatever form you wish to think of it, is not what you associate with Pulp. And that has nothing to do with the gig.

Anyway, one of the positive elements of these kinds of gigs that was highlighted tonight, is the way there's no bullshit between the bands when it comes to equipment, soundcheck and changeover. Each changeover was done in about 10 minutes. Basically consisted of unplugging and packing one set of guitars, plugging in the next, little bit of tuning, a quick 1 2 1 2 into the mike, and their off.

And so it was the Fury of Five took to the stage. Wow, big stage lied the singer whose name I've forgotten but is on the CD that I bought as a result of being sufficiently impressed by them. I know basically nothing about them, same as all the bands really, except the little bits I've read in the last week or so. Some of which led me to believe they would be perhaps slightly more in the face than they were. Just that as there was no pit or anything going on, I'd gotten the impression that they would create one themselves. But they didn't, but that's taking nothing away from them.

I guess the music sounded like the general cross between metal and hardcore, with some moments where they do lock into a pretty neat groove. The vocals had problems when (I think) they were being a bit more melodic. Technical difficulties. Gotta hand it to the guy though when he introduces the first cover as being a song that they re-titled as suicide anthem for generation X before starting off Nirvana's Come as you are. But before you go on about lack of taste and respect, bear in mind that the CD actually has a dedication to the memory of Princess Diana, Mother Teresa and others on it.

Highlight of the set had to be the cover of Slayer's Raining Blood, mainly cos I know that song. Intense and groovy. I've not listened to the CD yet, but will do. If they were given the chance in front of many people on the right sort of bill, say Fear Factory, Machine Head, Biohazard etc, they'd go down a storm.

Gurd are from Switzerland, and that's all I know. And as ever it seems with European bands, they are frighteningly polite between songs. Which is kinda fun in a way. They also feature a bassist who resembles Paulo Jr from Sepultura way back when. At least his hair does. All of which has absolutely fuck all to do with the music. Well, it was ok. Not as good as Fury, but not bad. Sort of thing I'd need to listen to a bit more. Seemed a bit apprehensive on stage. The movement, as such as there can be on such a small stage, was hesitant unlike some of the bigger and better bands. Not bad, but not great.

And so Pro-Pain. A band whose CDs have been in my hands more than a few times, but always suffered from me finding something else to buy instead. Will that change after seeing them live? Don't know. Live they were good. Tight, heavy, nice groove. Chugging away in a cool fashion. Weird hearing the only real guitar solo's of the night coming from them, especially as they're more associated with hardcore, which tends to feature less solos. There were times where you could imagine them fitting in with the Anthrax style of metal back in the 80's, though this is updated for the 90's.

From what I can gateher, they played the majority of material from the latest self titled album, along with a selection from the previous albums. And at least they managed to get a pit going. And no preaching from the stage either, which is nice.

But this sort of gig also highlights some of the problems with this sort of thing. What were there, 50-60 people. The bands come all this way to a minimal crowd and response. Sure the elitist may say this sort of music isn't meant for the masses, but at least a decent turnout would be nice. Makes you wonder all the more what the supposedly legendary HC venues of the past in the states were like. Were they really like this? So, although there were a few complaints at the way the gig ended, no encore and pretty sudden, can you really argue? That's a debate for another time. Check all the bands out the next time they come your way. The scenes need support at all the levels. Not just in trying to elevate the Machine Head, Fear Factory and Soulfly's of this world to another level.