The love for American pop punk over here in England is dedicated and tight-knit. As a result, shows like this are attended religiously. Once again Slam Dunk have provided a stellar line up consisting of Tiny Moving Parts, Trash Boat, Pup and The Wonder Years.
Three piece Tiny Moving Parts are the perfect band to warm up the keen crowd. The guitar parts are original, accomplished and intricate and work wonderfully with the bass, drums and vocals. Trash Boat are an awesome display of power and look set to tear the place limb from limb.
Canadian outfit PUP are welcomed to the stage and instantly cement themselves as a serious force to be reckoned with. In their own words from their bandcamp page: “We play loud music. You’ll like it. Or maybe you won’t. Listen and love it / hate it / whatever.” They’re a band of their word: their set is fast, passionate and catchy as hell. ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will’ boasts the huge chant, “Why can’t we just get along?” while ‘DVP’ is two and half minutes of brutal punk honesty, “I f*cked up and she hates my guts! She says I need to grow up!”. It’s an intense performance from a band with only two albums under their belts – who knows what we’ll be seeing in a few years time.
View the PUP photo gallery in full below:
The Wonder Years, rather unsurprisingly, hold the room in the palms of their hands tonight. Their set is a solidly constructed culmination of everything they’ve released up to this point, with a healthy chunk being assigned to their latest album ‘No Closer To Heaven’. It’s clear from the off how they’ve acquired such a following and reputation over here – if you’re looking for a tighter, more passionate band in this scene you are unlikely to find one. ‘I Don’t Like Who I Was Then’ and ‘Cardinals’ show the pure power of the new album while ‘Cigarettes & Saints’ shows its more sensitive side.
‘There, There’ is a personal highlight – I’ve been waiting several years to hear an entire room scream “I’m sorry I don’t laugh at the right times!” and it was shiver-worthy. ‘Madelyn’ provides the solo-acoustic-lighters-in-the-air moment of the evening. The best thing about this show, aside from the fantastic bands, is the real sense of comradery and connection between everyone here. Finishers ‘Passing Through A Screen Door’, (fantastically self-confessional: “Jesus Christ. I’m 26. All the people I’ve graduated with all have kids, all have wives, all have people who care if they come home at night”) and ‘Came Out Swinging’ are the perfect ending to a pretty much unbeatable night of pop-punk music. Regardless of your music taste, you’d be hard pushed to find faults in this show.
View the Wonder Years’ photo gallery in full below:
The Wonder Years’ latest album ‘No Closer to Heaven’ is out now via Hopeless Records.
Photos courtesy of Tom Saunders.