Hundred Reasons completed their biggest tour yet, covering some of the country's biggest venues with huge sell-out dates. We caught them in Bristol with the country's best new rock band Kinesis.
[l-zone1]Young rock band: go act your age! Kinesis, wearing regulation white t-shirts, play attacking punk rock that inspires devotion to literature and rock n roll rather than mindless excess and neurotic overindulgence. Four genuinely fucked-off teenagers from Bolton – (whou wouldn’t be?) – who comprehend, yet question and challenge everything. Their conclusion: ‘Everything Destroys Itself’! Guitars are gritty and wheedling, drums are hammering and brutal, and yet deep inside all this lies an understanding of perfectly catchy melodies.
[r-zone2]The ‘geometry of contempt’ indeed, as they throw themselves around the stage, and respect to guitarist Conor, who falls off the stage during the intense ‘Everything Destroys Itself’, but plays on, and, after lobbing his guitar back at the stage, throws himself into the crowd. Cool as Fuck.
[l-zone3]Kinesis are the like the Manics back when they ‘were winning’, dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century: quoting vast tracts of literature, seething with intelligence, and raging against anything that stands in their way. ‘Billboard Beauty’, presumably an ode to fat girls on a night out in Bolton (“The flesh will be served into the dress/Even if it doesn’t fit…”) is their third release and contender for single of the year. Make sure you buy it from Monday 18th November onwards.
[r-zone4]And so Sparta take to the stage: “reheated leftovers of At The Drive-In!” some might cry, but they just dare you to mention the very fact that three of them used to be in the deranged El Paso band. (Sparta are basically the non-afro’d ones, who didn’t want to make unlistenable ‘avant-garde’ prog rock, who did want to play massive grinding post-hardcore riffs, complete with long drawn-out screams and huge thundering drums, very similar to Boston band Cave In.) While largely lacking the idiosyncratic jarring mentalism of At The Drive-In, at times some songs hint at the anarchist noise that their old band used to specialise in, and the band’s use of electronica show they are willing to experiment.
[l-zone5]Which brings us to Hundred Reasons; a band of two halves. They tread the line between being soft stadium rock wannabes, and head-crushingly, eardrum-bleedingly raw. The visual combination of a lanky, limp-limbed fraggle frontman, several sweaty puffy ‘blokes’ and the more dashing figure of the sideburned lead guitarist is nearly as exciting as tracks like early single ‘Remmus’ or many of the familiar tracks from their well-received full-length debut, ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ Take the Helmet-esque circular riff robbery of B-side ‘Soapbox Rally’, where the crowd is gleefully beating the crap out of each other, and the sing-a-long chorus of ‘Falter,’ where the same crowd is happy to sway their arms and show those lighters, and you realise Hundred Reasons convert their inimitable charm into something quite vital.
[l-zone1]One is never sure whether Hundred Reasons are taking the piss, with all their exaggerated guitar posturing, and getting the crowd to clap along. Perhaps they are being ironic, or simply caught up in the moment of sonic ecstasy, and indulging in all their onstage clichéd rock and roll fantasies. No one can blame them. When you have songs like ‘I’ll Find You’, and ‘If I Could’ under your belt, you’re in a position to do[r-zone2] whatever the hell you want onstage – these songs made HR what they are in the live arena, and that’s very much where they belong. Big and loud. They reach a perfect medium between generous heaviosity, and huge crashing choruses, with memorable hooks and melodies to boot.
[l-zone3]Without political manifestoes, or insane eccentricities, Hundred Reasons‘ tireless gigging has enamoured them to many people. If the sonic cleavage and hooky melodies of new tracks like ‘My Sympathy’ are a sign of their direction, then they may be able to keep their shiny stage set warm for a tour of even bigger arenas very soon.
Hundred Reasons photography: Emma Porter
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