Hitting Guildford Boileroom as part of their Closure tour in support of their most recent E.P. of the same name, Blood Youth, accompanied by Brightlight City and London up & comers ZOAX, deliver their brand of melodic hardcore to the intimate venue.

Kicking the night off in impressive fashion, Brightlight City put on a set that is, quite frankly, better than it has any right to be. For the first on a three band bill at a local venue, the band give it their absolute all, with their hook-laden, pop-rock sensibilities allowing gaps just big enough for a real sense of showmanship and determination to really shine through. Full of energy and promise, the band show a huge amount of potential, and they’ll be gracing bigger and bigger stages in the very near future.

Well, in all honesty, what can I really say about ZOAX that could be interpreted as anything but brain-dead babble? With a frontman channelling everything from Jason Aalon Butler of letlive. to Serj Tankian, ZOAX ripped through a set of jazzy, erratic pop-rock, or maybe it was post-hardcore, or funk-metal … Or that’s what I think they did. Spending his time screaming at the ceiling, singing in faces and generally intimidating fans with an absolutely irresistible charm, lead singer Adam Carroll left an impression very few vocalists can, with his almost unfathomable ability to switch between rasped, nail-gargling harsh vocals and hypnotising, buttery-smooth clean tones. A band clearly far too accomplished already to be supporting anyone, the Boileroom sound engineers impress greatly with the band coming through beautifully, with each facet of the boys’ intricate sound being treated as crucially as the last. Don’t sleep on ZOAX, people. Next time they come around, be there.

Whilst it might be near impossible to follow ZOAX, let it be known that Blood Youth tried their absolute best and still managed to put on what would be by any accounts a fantastic show. Ripping through a nine-song set covering nearly every track put out by the band thus far, the Harrogate-based four-piece made sure to alleviate concerns regarding their debut, proudly announcing their intentions to enter the studio ‘next month’. Sonically, the guys cannot be faulted, with precision accuracy being employed throughout the set as songs like Mood Swing and Dead Space hit prompted head-movement and bustling across the room.

However, whilst the band themselves were as near to perfect as they could possibly be, songs like 24/7 lacked a certain amount of punch, and breakdown sections through the evening seemed underwhelming, despite everyone in attendance’s utter compliance in soaking up the musical proficiency on display. Vocals here deserve a special mention, as lead Kaya Tarsus put on an absolutely flawless performance, giving absolutely everything possible to elevate the band’s sound, and did so wonderfully.

A fantastic night of live music, and a performance-of-the-year contender from ZOAX left the Guildford Boileroom buzzing with adrenaline, and anticipation for the bright future of Blood Youth is at an all time high.

Blood Youth - The Boileroom, Guildford (4th Oct 2016)

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