When Single Mothers’ tour swept into Liverpool’s Studio 2 it highlighted a punk scene quietly bubbling under the city’s surface as Getintothis’ Zach Jones found out.
As Single Mothers tear their way across Europe, the Canadian quintet have left a trail of tinnitus and whip lash injuries across the board, and Liverpool is treated to one of only a handful of shows. Hailing from London, Ontario – a Canadian state also known for hardcore punks Metz, Fucked Up, Cancer Bats and Alexisonfire – Single Mothers‘ sound is a grittier, grungier noise than their peers. A band doused in distortion and washed down with double time drums heavy enough to make your ribcage rattle yet melodic enough to get the kids dancing.
Tonight however, the kids are already dancing inside Studio 2. Pop punks Please Head North kick off a storm for their last ever show. The band are undoubtedly young and talented and will go onto other things, with a blend of upbeat lyricism and catchy punk riffs, the band play like the best of them. That however is precisely the problem, they play exactly like Blink 182 did, exactly what Neck Deep did when they copied them. And now, we get a third generation generic pop punk band, so painfully unauthentic that if the band had carried on, Sum 41 would have called and asked for their riffs back.
Not every band has to do something new, and sometimes simply writing good music can pull through. Pop punk is kicking off in Liverpool and with bands like WSTR heading off to sign with No Sleep Records, it seems good things can come of good music played well.
Black Diamond fare slightly better. A band that are undoubtedly good at what they do, riff-filled catchy pop rock songs. If you’re fan of Kerrang! and over production this is the band for you. The audience inside enjoy them, and after the Liverpool four-piece load off the stage, the crowd empties out of the venue.
By the time Single Mothers take the stage the audience is less than half the size. No more than 30 people watch the punks rip through one of the most visceral sets of the year. The stage shakes as they take off into hyper-speed. Proving that punk rock can be authentic, fresh and loud the band decimate Liverpool or at least try their best. The upbeat raucous chorus of Marbles is the stand out of the evening, ‘I’m a hypocrite and I’m okay with it’, a condemning statement on hipster pseudo-intellectualism.
Single Mothers well and truly are a force to be reckoned with and tonight more than proved it. Their blend of hardcore, punk and garage rock is enough to send the crowd into a frenzy and as guitars are thrown wildly and heads nodded with nitro velocity, the whole night seems to move at 100mph. To the 170 people who could have fit in that venue but didn’t, you’re idiots. Every last one of you.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Waters.