Defeater at Hevy 2011

Defeater are a band that are going to get showered in cliches I'm afraid. They blew me away. They made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Their set was like a rollercoaster. Okay, maybe not that last one, but they did well and truly tear the Rock Sound & Macbeth Stage apart. I can't quite put across just how perception-changingly brilliant this hardcore punk band are to see live, but I'll give it a go.

Having picked up on "Empty Days & Sleepless Nights" earlier this year, I had become well acquainted with the fantastically rough and heavy sound of this highly creatively intelligent band. On record they're dark and emotional, with a sound so heavy it almost wants to push you to a level of discomfort, but one where it forces you to engage your senses and imagination. This is multiplied tenfold on a live platform. The hard weight of their music floods the entire space and envelopes you in an experience that becomes all about your physical reception to the noise they produce. Nothing could have prompted emotive engagement better than the choice of opener in 'I Don't Mind'. The gentle and romantic acoustic performance of the stunningly moving lyrical content was the most deceiving introduction to what would become one of the contentious sets of the weekend.

Throwing the acoustic guitar aside, Defeater owned that stage and destroyed it. There is such sincerity in the projection of force lacing every note that it was seriously intense. The pit, quite understandably, was insane. From the shadowy depths of 'Dear Father' to the chaotic thunder of 'The Red, White and Blues', Defeater had their crowd in a strangle-hold of a grip. It may knock the breath from your lungs and punch you in the gut, but here is a band you really have got to discover for yourself. I really can't wait to see them again.