If we’re being honest, a Monday evening probably isn’t the most optimal night to play in an industrial town with no formal student scene. That said, shows put on by promoter ‘Sheer Music’ are always worth attending: in recent times he’s put on Gnarwolves, Boston Manor and WSTR – an ace set of bands for a town that often feels neglect, due to the more prominent scenes in Bristol and Oxford.
The opening band, the deadnotes, came as a late addition after their initial gig plans fell through. The German 3 piece proved a great addition, keeping with the pop-punk theme, with raspy vocals and the traditional power chord laden songs. Faint hints of math-rock inspired guitar licks appeared once in awhile, such as in song ‘Beautiful Minds’, helping the band to bring a trademark to their sound.
Next on the bill was Swindon band Over to You. Regularly featuring on bills of local pop-punk shows, Over to You bring a heavier sound very much in line with traditional Lower Than Atlantis. Frontman and guitarist Jimmy never fails to bring plenty of energy into live performances, so God only knows why he decided to wear a long sleeve jumper, maybe a slight oversight?! The 30-minute set saw Over to You showcasing said energy, breathing further life into already energetic set of songs.
The first of the 2 out of town bands was Weatherstate. The Bristol boys launched into a set full of quick progressions with an upbeat bounce to them – it’s like blending Four Year Strong with Gnarwolves and then topping it off with a UK Pop-Punk seasoning. It wasn’t hard to get drawn into Weatherstate who put on a great set; hopefully the boys from down the road will be back to Swindon again in the near future. ‘Sympathy’ was a highlight from their set, if it’s a taste of what’s to come then they could very well make a big impact within the UK scene.
The night’s headline performance came from Brighton based Muskets. The songs at times feel like they could fall straight into punk, while at other times (most notably the newer songs from their catalogue) feature fantastic vocal melodies, backing and lead guitar lines, ‘17 Years’ being an example of such. A high-energy performance from start to finish saw Muskets show why label ‘No Sleep’ has confidence in them; if the new songs are anything to go by, Muskets are going to be winning over a lot of new fans in a short amount of time.