Raging Speedhorn and ChargerEdit this event
Right, this may be a tad late but a review of one of Amen’s recent UK dates needs to be written. In the past 5 or so years since I’ve been going to gigs I’ve seen an unbelievable amount of bands and there’s been a few that’ve really stood out for me. Pennywise at Leeds ’99, Deftones first ever UK date in ’98 and Neurosis’ skull-crushing performance last year. However, seeing Amen, R.Speedhorn & Charger may just eclipse them all. [Ok, maybe not Neurosis].
I heard that this gig sold out almost straight away but thanks to The Australian Pink Floyd, it wasn’t promoted to the bigger room downstairs, for the only way to the ultimate Charger experience is in a small, sweaty confined space. Although not as loud as usual, Charger still manage to blow the front rows away with their sphincter-loosening low-end sludge-core. And although their frontman is a dead ringer for both Chino Moreno and Casey Chaos [yes he did get screaming girls running after him when he got out the transit van] you’ll find no comparisons here musically. Just a pity they didn’t end with ‘Brick S**thouse’.
As for Raised-on Sweetcorn I’m getting seriously worried about them. From what I’ve heard they’ve been playing virtually none-stop for the past year, at one point playing 3 gigs a night! 4 days after their European tour with Biohazard, here they are supporting Amen. When I ask vocalist Frank Regan what keeps him going on tour he holds up a can of Bud grinning, “this is what keeps us going”, which may explain how they got in trouble drunkenly wrecking cars in Italy the week before, but that’s another story.
To be honest they don’t look knackered at all. Tearing through their set they follow on nicely from Charger with their own brand of hate-fuelled noise and from the size of the violent mosh it looks like quite a few of us like it.
But I think it’s clear who most people here have come to see. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about Amen but their performance tonight was nothing short of breathtaking! In the very first song he’d clambered onto the guitar cabs and jumped straight into the drum-kit MID SONG! All the way through, Casey was either flinching & writhing around the stage or terrorising the front rows by launching himself upon them. They actually had 2 roadies who were constantly on the stage putting cymbals back up and straightening mic stands, while the human volcano erupted around them.
And it’s the fact that the music suits this carnage so well that really heightens the experience. Loud, fast punk-influenced metal played with real energy is the dish of the night and the fact Amen consists of 2 members of Snot may also have something do with the amount of attitude oozing from the stage. For the whole 40 minutes the band show no signs of slowing down blazing through all the classics ‘Downhuman’, ‘Coma America’ & ‘When a Man Dies a Woman’ as well as songs off the new album.
And to those who might dismiss Casey’s arm cutting & destructive instincts as fake before even seeing them live, he must be a darn good actor. As he kicks & punches his way though the set he even manages to pull down some black sheeting tied at the front of the stage & throws it into the crowd! OK, ok I’ve gone on a bit but unless you were there amidst all the chaos this review really does no justice. I urge you all to go experience Amen when they next come over. If you don’t then you’re just boring plain & simple.