Arnocorps + Scumface + 72% Morrissey + Sleep To Win @ The Racehorse, Northampton – Thursday 31st July 2014

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Review by Brady Deeprose


The Racehorse, under new management, is looking better than ever. A slight refurbishment, new ales on tap and – for the first time in as long as I can remember – a packed out back room.

Local miscreants Sleep To Win open up, their front-woman Laura Hogan proving you don’t need balls to have them. D-beat bands have a tendency to be a little ‘same old’ and STW do little to break out of this mould, bar the vocalists unintelligible black metal rasps which bring a little originality to the over-worked genre. The band are competent and obviously love what they do, but could improve with varying the pace/structure of their tracks a little more.

Next up came one of the most intense and visceral local acts the Northamptonshire scene has witnessed in a long time. 72% Morrissey are the bastard child of Electric Wizard, the weird side of Biffy Clyro and The Dillinger Escape Plan, sans vocals. The three-piece encompass everything that’s great about ‘noise rock’, from their ridiculously heavy sections to escapades with ambience and feedback, not to mention the bizarre on-stage personas. For a relatively young band, these guys ooze quality, quirkiness and riffs: definitely worth picking up their album Nite Errors from bandcamp.

Scumface are punk’s answer to grindcore. Balls out, tongue in check 10 second odes to some of life’s true problems such as having a brick, losing said brick but then miraculously finding it again: really relatable stuff, as you can tell. As we’re drawing nearer to the main act of the evening, the attendance in the room swelled, much to Scumface’s delight. The band, obviously veterans of the live scene, had both their performance and comic timing down to a tee, even despite a fill-in bassist for the evening.

Arnocorps
Arnocorps

Austria’s Arnocorps put the fun in ‘fundamentally brilliant band’. Coming out to a G.I. Joe-esque intro that had everyone in the crowd kneeling to pay their respects, the band took to a stage that probably wasn’t quite big enough for the six-piece and yet it didn’t slow them down. Barrelling through a set of iron pumping, day-saving party anthems, Arnocorps sift through the best of Schwarzenegger’s films including ‘Predator’, ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Terminator’ turning them into classic metal masterpieces. Despite the band travelling hundreds of miles to be in our small local, the room was packed with people in Arnocorps merch: a testament to their strong UK fanbase and dedicated touring history. Musically, the whole band are on form and despite the poor sound provided by the venue, they power through and deliver one of the most convincing performances Northampton has seen in years.