First up to lay the tinder in the 02 academy are Mallen. I’ve experienced the sheer amount of hype around new comers Mallen but I’ve never actually seen them live before, which is weird. And after the first song I feel like a bit of a prat for taking my time to see them perform, because they are brilliant! Mallen for those who don’t know are a four piece rock band with hard hitting riffs and a massive presence. They favour progression over aggression but keeping those piercing chorus’ and tightly driven verses. Imagine Flyleaf but with more “oomph” There’s a good amount (but not too much) distortion used on the lead guitar just to flesh the strings out that little bit more with snazzy effect.
The amount of local band members that have come out to support this bloated line up is impressive. it’s like when the high school band plays at a pub in Walsall and everyone from school turns up, except there’s far fewer kings of leon covers, which is a good thing.
Go Primitive take the stage, and again I’ve not seen this band before but this time it’s okay because they’re from out of town, Rugby to be exact. They make it known that they’ve played with the headliner MDM before and as soon as they begin you can imagine they’re a pretty tight pairing. With some conferring with our own DJ Yentonian we agreed they sound like a mixing bowl with clippings of ‘Seether’, a dash of ‘Wheetus’ and a few dollops of ‘Foo Fighters’ for good measure. Go Primitive are packed with dangerously catchy and upeat melodies and lyrics and I think they know it, too. I’d recommend Go Primitive as some lovely, all you can eat, vegetarian friendly rock music to complete your playlist.
Now onto Eyes of the Raven, class-acts these guys are, all top and tails and “I’ll f*ck your sh*t up with my b**tard riffs”. The reason there’s a cheap bar tonight at the 02 Academy and advertising an Album for release in September EOTR never fail to bring the beef to satisfy even the most beardy, “newcy brown” drinking, metalhead. Eyes of the Raven lift the roof and crack the sky with their trade-mark heavier and a really heavy thing routine, drinking beer and pulling grim faces on stage. Finishing with their crowd pleaser ‘Bruised but never broken’
Now the headline act, Martyr De Mona. Performing with new guitarist Josh who learns the set list after an impossible few weeks, Josh adds abit of muscle and altitude to the group not to mention his effortless plucking at even the more energetic tracks. Tonight, the guys seem to favour their older, more grunge songs just to try and catch the younger fans out. Seamless as always MDM provide an outstanding performance and it’s obvious why people keep coming back to see them over and over. Over the years MDM have acquired quite a loyal fan base from kids to seasoned rock fans alike, MDM are a very well-known local act simply because they make great music and perform it with style and professionalism. A great way to introduce a new guitarist into the MDM team.
The 02 Academy Birmingham seems to be the place to go for the very best in local music with more and more acts coming up this year, month by month so keep an eye out!
By Rob WK
Check all the pictures here.