POLAR. - Live Gig Review

Southampton’s intimate Unit Club was the venue for a bit of pummelling mid-week hardcore when the boys from POLAR.

Gig date: 9th May Venue: Unit Club, Southampton

rating: 4.5

Southampton€™s intimate Unit Club was the venue for a bit of pummelling mid-week hardcore when the boys from POLAR. came to town in celebration of their fantastic new album Iron Lungs which has been critically acclaimed from all different corners, including a 4.5 star review on this very site. Bringing along their friends from Carcer City and with a support bill made up of some great local bands, it was a crushingly heavy night for the 50 or so people huddled inside away from the pouring Southampton rain. Opening the night were local kids Five Miles North Of Nowhere who put on a set far beyond their years, in spite of a few technical difficulties with microphones, which persisted throughout the night. With catchy riffs and a vocalist with great screams who reminded me of Sean Smith from The Blackout, these guys have a lot of potential. Second up were Bournemouth based Anchors, who could have done with a bit more variety in their songs, but their brand of atmospheric metalcore was reminiscent of Parkway Drive in places and the talent coming from the guys was undeniable although their set was ended abruptly by the sound guy which was slightly anticlimactic. Rounding off the local bands were The Valiant, playing a more straight-up style of hardcore which has seen their track Home Of The Grave gain airplay from Scuzz TV, and it was a standout song of their set. With a truly menacing lead vocalist who was clearly putting his heart and soul into his lyrics and a clean vocalist providing big choruses alongside him (although the mic difficulties made some of these inaudible, which was a shame), their set was heavy and heartfelt. With the local supports over, it was time for the main event, beginning with Liverpool bruisers Carcer City, who unashamedly play €˜Scouse metal€™, reinforced by the cries of €˜you€™ll never walk alone€™ in their opening track. With a sound that brought to mind early The Devil Wears Prada, these guys have huge doses of groove and enormous breakdowns as well as breakneck speed metalcore sections played by the incredibly tight instrumental section. They put on a great show but it felt disappointingly short, although this may have been due to the time some of the other bands took setting up. Still, for the short time they were on stage they were heavy from start to finish and I could have happily watched them as a headlining act for a lot longer, definitely a band worth checking out. After being set a tough act to follow by Carcer City, POLAR. took the stage to a room that seemed to have thinned out after some of the local bands had finished, something which I couldn€™t quite work out. They were worthy headliners, with frontman Adam Woodford introducing the band and himself with a vicious snarl of €˜I look forward to beating the shit out of you€™. Adam reminded me of the early days of ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter, and absolutely commanded the tiny room they were playing in. Bands like POLAR. are never going to play arenas, but venues that hold less than 100 people are their arenas, and they can tear them apart as such. Adam played to every single person in the room individually as he commanded the floor completely, starting moshpits and grabbing fans to scream along with, as well as hugging every person in the room following their set. His dominant performance was the focal point of their performance, but it would have been nothing without the efforts of the band behind him, who showed why Iron Lungs has received such a good reception, as they provided a different kind of heaviness without resorting to constant breakdowns, instead just assaulting the eardrums of everyone present. Playing tracks from their new album as well as fan favourites such as Tonight Matthew, I Am The Batman and Smile, You Son Of A Bitch, their loyal following were throwing spin kicks and going into a frenzy throughout their set. A truly great live act, especially in such an intimate location, if you like hardcore music and you haven€™t been to one of their shows, you€™ve really missed out. Also all the bands that played have tracks on their Facebook pages that you can listen to, give them a listen and show your support, there was a lot of talent on display at this gig. https://www.facebook.com/5MNONhttps://www.facebook.com/Anchorsukhttps://www.facebook.com/thevaliantbandhttps://www.facebook.com/carcercityhttps://www.facebook.com/thispolarnoise
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Contributor

Multimedia journalism student at Bournemouth University, my dream is to one day be paid to lie in bed, listen to music, and go to gigs. Follow me on Twitter @dandonnelly_ or find me on last.fm @DanDy57.