Hakara, Casual Threats and SWEARS @ Little Buildings 28/4/2018
To say Little Buildings is an intimate environment would be an understatement, but if you’re new to the North (or you just haven’t been yet) you simply must check it out.
Friendly, familiar service and you’re never going to have a bad view of the band.
First up were SWEARS, with charismatic indie guitars and a raw brutality that instantly got the audience in the mood for a three-part gig. There was a great sound balance due to what became clear as strong FX knowledge in a live, practical setting. Their two standout members have to be the pink-rock styled lead singer, with a great range and power behind it. Most of their songs are fast-paced, so I was careful not to over-headbang early on, as I knew there was more music to come. SWEARS could benefit from more backing vocals, supporting a bold lead sound and healthy production value for their well-received grunge-driven nuances. Definitely one to see again.
Next up were Casual Threats, with a similar vibe to the previous guys, yet slightly less-polished sound. Although the driving beats were easy enough to bob your head to, a lot of lyrics were simply lost in the mix, which was a crying shame. I was a little confused by the three guys in the band wearing three different football shirts (never managed to figure that one out) but I’m a harsh critic is that department – I’m an avid hater of on-stage gimmicks, with a few minor exceptions (Angus Young and Slash). That being said, their energy can’t be denied and they certainly furthered the adrenaline for the main act.
And so they came – Hakara. You may remember a review of their single ‘Sellotape and Superglue’ I was lucky enough to write, so you can imagine my excitement knowing I was going to see these guys live. The crowd shared my enthusiasm – there must have been seventy roaring people packed into that lunchbox.
For their first show in over a year, they were unbelievable. I am always impressed with fast guitar work whilst singing – I couldn’t do it – and you certainly get that with these guys. There’s that familiar blend of ‘hooking’ melody and screamo, always powered by a passionate, almost classic, rock vibe. I could go on to say how their uses of plagal cadences and mixed rhythms showcases undeniable musical expertise, but just go see them for yourselves. No really – do.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the guys after the show and they explained how they’ve been writing, recording and finessing their image ‘behind the scenes’, becoming a much more professional band – and it’s paid off. They go on to say how they’re all very comfortable with their sound now, confident and glad they’ve persevered on developing their sound, summed up with the quote “You can kinda hear puberty in our tracks.”
For me, Hakara are the one to watch in the North East now, with this being their comeback gig after a year of personal development, every gig is sure to be better than the last.