Napalm Death / dBh / Stampin' Ground

Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

June 21

Second disappointing turnout of the week in Wolverhampton. It has to be said, that it was asking a lot for them to fill this place, but it just seems the wrong venue for Napalm Death. Still, as it's pretty much a home town gig for them, it was disappointing to see a less than half full hall. And that from someone whose not really even a fan.

First up were Stampin' Ground. Never heard of them before. But they are normally a 5 piece, although tonight they were a 4 piece, which they apologised for in case they sounded weak. No need to worry about that. Pretty decent set. Despite the obvious hardcore vocals, (sometimes it is nice when hardcore mixes it up a bit in the vocal department, a little more variety) this is what I think of as metal hardcore. It's steeped in hardcore attiude and delivery, and dripping in metal riffs. But that's not a negative. They seemed tight enough, and the songs were pretty ok. Difficult sometimes to judge a hardcore band on first listen like that. It's not songs you're looking to, it's attitude. It impressed me enough to get the mini-cd, and what I now know as track 4, the bass led one, is the standout track in their set. A fair attitude shown to the people throwing water, but still managed to smile about it all. Pretty good stuff and a nice surprise.

dBh. The band I came to see. I like this band. Musically they offer a little more than most hardcore bands. And that is where they are coming from. Forget this talk of them begining to sound a bit like Korn. There's a few moments on the album where the vocals stray into that teeth clenched forcing the words without moving the lips style of Korns, but apart from that, they're not really playing in the same ball park, although there's no reason a Korn fan couldn't like this. The one thing they need to do, and was highlighted tonight on a larger stage, is gain some more stage presence and move it up a gear. They are from hardcore leanings, and they are going to have to compete with some of the best live acts in the business, and at the moment, it needs some work. Still, musically they're great. White God Sent is still the top tune. And it was a shame they didn't listen to the person who requested Stand, as that is one of their best as well. Shame it didn't make it to the album. Some good stuff, just need to make the move up to the big league now.

Napalm Death. Weird, that for all the years they've been going, the other month supporting Machine Head in this here town, was the first time I'd seen the band. Thought they're were ok then, same now. It's not really my cup of insert drinkable liquid of your choice. So, they played plenty of new stuff from the Inside the Torn Apart album, Diatribes, Suffer the Children and probably about 20 others. They're ok, but I mean Barney, dedicating songs to the Villa boys in attendance just isn't the done thing. And how can you possibly say that Big Stan the man Collyomore is where he belongs. Everyone knows he could've been a winner at Liverpool, but at Villa ... really, there's no hope for some frontmen :) And still the highlight of the set is the Dead Kennedys seminal Nazi Punks Fuck Off. If you like them, you would've been happy. If not, you'd probably not be won over. There's no more really needs to be said.