Words and photos by Antony Roberts
On Monday 18th June Brighton played host to legendary metallic hardcore band Integrity from Ohio.
First band Strike The Bear played to a practically empty room of 26 people. It would have been nice if the local crowd had actually made the effort to get there early, and show support to the up and coming bands, but c’est la vie! They are a very young band, but they show promise with quiet almost mumbled parts erupted into a “Listen” era Nine style fracus.
Next up last minute edition Dashwood replaced Self Loathing, and they are a rawer live band than their Hurt/Heal EP would have you believe. Singer Alex sounds more raspy, with hints of Mackaye’s Minor Threat days as he stalked the stage yelping out angry lyrics. Once again there was a serious lack of crowd, and I was beginning to think it was going to be this quiet all night.
Third band of the night Wayfarer drew in a large crowd, not only had the venue filled up considerably, but as soon as their Ringworm-esque metallic hardcore started, a small pit erupted clearing the front area. I wasn’t familiar with the band prior to tonight, but they quickly won over a new fan. Lots of Slayer-esque guitar, slowed down cymbal runs and double bass. If you’re a fan of bands like In Cold Blood, xcanaanx, or the heavier bands from the H8000 scene, like Liar and Congress, you should definitely check these guys out.
Breaking Point up next, who contain the guitarist Max from previous band Wayfarer. The band also features members of other UK bands, such as Basement, Abolition, and Iron Curtain, so it’s no shock they are confident and tight on stage. With plenty of shouted sing along sections, and mid paced thrashy bridges, the band kept the crowd busy. When the crowd weren’t busting moves on the floor, they were jumping over each other trying to grab the mic to join in choruses. It was refreshing to see a band with metal elements infused into their hardcore that have avoided clichéd intro-bridge-beatdown-chorus beatdown templates. It turns so many bands into a turgid, generic and formulaic bore. To all the bands out there claiming to be “core”, spending more time on their image, their hair products, and trying to sweep pick; take note. This is how proper hardcore is done. Heavy and with time spent crafting songs, not on straightening your fringes.
Integrity came on and showed just how and why they’ve been continually making movements in the Hardcore underground since their inception in 1988. Whilst Dwid may be fairly vocal in his interviews and lyrics for his distaste of…well pretty much everything, there was very little stage banter, they just smashed track after track. Despite this being the first time hitting these shores since the release of last year’s “Thee DestroyORR”, the bulk of the set was made up of tracks from the classic older albums. Most of the set drew on “Those Who Fear Tomorrow” and “Humanity Is The Devil”, though “Black Hexsen Rise” from last year’s split with Rot In Hell was aired, and it’s clear this band still have some amazing tunes to write. “Micha: Those Who Fear Tomorrow” unsurprisingly got the largest crowd response, and by the end of the set audience, and band alike were pouring sweat, from a heart felt emotional performance. It’s not often I go see a band twice on a tour, but tonight’s performance convinced me to see them again in London this coming weekend, I suggest you try and make it. If the performance is anything like the Brighton show you’ll be blown away.
Integrity remaining UK tour live dates:
22nd June Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes
23rd June Library, Leeds
24th June Underworld, London
Holy Terror website