Terror + Last Wishes + Despize @ The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes – 25th October 2022


In a move that will characterise an evening of full-on hardcore fury, tonight’s openers Despize hit the ground running and rarely look back over 25 furious minutes. Hailing from Glasgow, they haven’t travelled south to take prisoners as opening track ‘Spirit In Black’ testifies. A tangible sense of danger emanates from the stage as the band plough through a set of razor-sharp songs, with each taking the most direct line to what it’s all about. The band won’t use two chords when one will suffice, and a parred back sound largely eschews solos in favour of a riff heavy attack which only adds to the overall feeling of brutality. New track ‘Horse’ signposts a bright future, but its old favourites ‘Big Bark’ and ‘2 Count’ that caps the set and the vitriol with which it is unleashed sets the bar high for the rest of the evening.

Appearing inside a ball of glorious feedback, Last Wishes aren’t made for the faint-hearted and their punchy sound lands some hefty blows. It’s a set largely culled from their latest album, Organized Hate, and it makes people lose their cool (but in the best possible way). This is music tailor made for windmill kicking and slam dancing, and there’s plenty of action going on in the pit. I’m picking up a definite ‘90s influence in their sound, and bands such as District 9 and Bulldoze have definitely inspired their modus operandi (and their guitarist gets bonus points for wearing a Crown Of Thornz t-shirt). Last Wishes’ no-holds-barred sonic assault goes down very well, and I’m sure they’ve made more than a few friends tonight.

Formed in 2002, It’s hard to believe that Los Angeles’ Terror are now considered “old school”, but they’ve become an institution within the hardcore scene, and with little help from the mainstream media. Their whole D.I.Y. ethic has been an inspiration, and it is heartening to see that they’re attracting many younger fans amongst the lifers and are passing on the torch to a whole new generation.

I first stumbled across Terror tearing up a stage back in January 2006, just down the road at the legendary (and much lamented) Pitz venue. Although I’ve seen thousands of bands in the intervening years, the sheer effervescence which vocalist Scott Vogel, singing from inside the pit, displayed that evening remains tattooed on my memory bank. I’m pleased to report that in 2022 (the band’s 20th anniversary) there’s been no discernible drop in energy levels, and if proof were ever needed then opening shot, ‘The 25th Hour’, will blow any doubts out the water. Displaying a real urgency, it proves the spark that lights the kindling, and the pit erupts into a blur of caustic energy. The temperature inside The Craufurd Arms immediately raises a few degrees, as ‘Overcome’ and ‘Pain Into Power’ are fired off in quick succession. However, it’s when ‘Spit My Rage’ makes an appearance that things go into overdrive as Scott riles the crowd into greater levels of insanity as a steady stream of stage divers launch themselves into the crowd.

Terror plays hardcore as it should be played; it’s raw and visceral, and attacks with bloodied fangs. ‘Life And Death’ from their debut EP nestles effortlessly alongside ‘Boundless Contempt’ from latest album (Pain Into Power) as both band and crowd drain their energy reserves for aptly titled closer ‘Keepers Of The Faith’. At just 45 minutes, Terror’s set is fairly brief, but truth be told, they’ve crammed more into those minutes than most bands pack into an entire career.

Terror Set List:

  1. The 25th Hour
  2. Overcome
  3. Pain Into Power
  4. Stick Tight
  5. Return To Strength
  6. Spit My Rage
  7. Always The Hard Way
  8. Can’t Help But Hate
  9. One With The Underdogs
  10. Life And Death
  11. Boundless Contempt
  12. Keep Your Mouth Shut
  13. Keepers Of The Faith