The Academy @ APU, Cambridge 3/3/2005

After queuing round the block to get into the opening night of Cambridge's plush new venue (yeah; it ain't half bad since you asked) I was met by noisy local-ish post-hardcore quintet, Cry For Silence. And I did. They call it "aggression and emotion". True; I did feel both aggressive and emotional after witnessing just half of their set. Nice tattoos though.

Jazz RTC didn't like the bassist's hat from next band, Hollywood Ending. I didn't like his eyeliner. Or his band much. Also featuring an unhealthy obsession with wearing only the colour black, they are again post-hardcore (come to think of it, what the hell does that mean?). Still, they get seven out of ten for at least adding a bit of melody and a lot of effort to what they do. If you like Funeral for a Friend, you might just find them entertaining. Their new album, "Praying to Fiction" is available soon.

And, if I thought that the night couldn't get any worse, it then became clear that I was going to have to compete with a few hundred little Avril Lavigne look-a-likes for Charl-ay's attentions. Which was a shame. Anyone who has seen Fightstar's debut video will now know the pleasure of a well-built young man dripping wet, bushy eyebrows glistening, and I am no exception. Perhaps that's what the person was trying to emulate when chucking a full pint glass at the poor lad's head. Perhaps not. Anyway, I wonder if the other three band members realised that no-one was looking at them. Apart from my other half who, like most men present, was nursing a slight green-eyed grudge and kept saying they were much better than the big man centre-stage. I pointed out that Mr From Busted was merely now merely trying to make a living out of being rock, just like he was. Give him a break.

Though I think this is what sticks in the throat of most people familiar with the music scene who are not knee-high to a grasshopper. Albeit as commanding and powerful as any old emo band of the moment, the general consensus seems to be a huge resentment that, while there are a lot of struggling artists doing the same thing, these guys get that much further because of their singer's shocking past. In their defence, it does surprisingly work. Although at times fairly predictable, the poncey jumping is replaced by beefy headbanging antics and the strong gravely voice now shines, complimented by co-stars with the actual ability to sing (often very high), scream (often very loudly) and thrash out the big beasties of riffs, rhythms and harmonies which guarantee that a sound (and frontman) so huge and impressive, though not groundbreaking, simply cannot be ignored. All credit to them.
Having said that, whilst I may have taken off my dark glasses and fake moustache for the evening, it will be a while until I join the kiddiewinks in raising a full metal salute proudly to the sky. But when that day arrives, I'll expect a nice bottle of piss in my face. You bastards.

Anna C, pix Adie Nunn