Black Peaks - Blowing The Roof Off At The Borderline
It should be easy enough to tell when Brighton's Black Peaks are in town - there are piles of masonry lying around from roofs being blown off. Their show at The Borderline in Soho was an exceptional, riproaring evening from one of the biggest breaking acts in the UK.
The band began life as Shrine, an instrumental three-piece before guitarist Joe Gosney, bassist Andrew Gosden and drummer Liam Kearley recruited vocalist Will Gardner in 2013.
The band's music and profile has developed rapidly via a series of well received EP's and singles, but their live reputation has always been their real calling card. On record their music is brutal and unrelenting but live it takes on a completely new dimension.
At first glance Gardner does not look like a typical catalyst for a rock revolution. In fact as he ambles onstage he is more reminiscent of a slightly chubby bank clerk. Then the opening bars of 'Crooks' kick in and Gardner is suddenly transformed into a raving roaring demigod, belting out the songs with feral energy. No less critical to the Black Peaks sound though is Gosney's superlative guitar work, driving the music with nuclear riffs. Gosden and Kearley are a power packed, highly accomplished rhythm section.
The band's music is a scorching hybrid of post punk, indie and metal. The aural assault is overpowering at first: some of the on record subtleties of 'White Eyes' are lost early in the set. Gardner's vocal sounds a little mixed down to start with but on reflection he was probably just warming up - by the time we reach 'Set In Stone' the audience are moshing like lunatics. Gardner, complete with mike stand joins them in manic fashion during 'Drones', a track that is a particular favourite of the band, before the main set closes with 'To Take The First Turn'.
Black Peaks are at their very best when they incorporate changes of pace and variations of vocal into their music, and 'Glass Built Castles' is a fantastic example of this. "You're giving up the fight for your life" screams Gardner against Gosney's monster riffs.
The band then perform an encore without leaving the stage as Gardner yells out "Shit, we nearly forgot a song… called… Saviour!" The most familiar track in their repertoire, with Gosney invading the mosh pit this time completes a storming set.
Their debut album 'Statues' is out now. I can't wait to take a listen to it.