Texan met­al­core crew de­feat jet lag in Brighton

Kerrang! (UK) - - Lives - OLLY THOMAS

club ■ It must venues be when strange you’re to be so stuck bla­tantly play­ing aspi­ra­tional that you named your­selves Crown The Em­pire. How­ever, this is where the Texas slug­gers be­long, and where, un­ex­pect­edly, they can flour­ish. They’re un­doubt­edly for­tu­nate that Vol­umes aren’t at full strength tonight. Even with one co-vo­cal­ist ab­sent and a stand-in gui­tarist, the LA gang prove a hard act to fol­low, their groove­bombs ex­plod­ing with jud­der­ing men­ace. Crown The Em­pire op­er­ate at a dif­fer­ent pitch, and at times on this open­ing night they strug­gle to rise above their jet lag. Bet­ter re­sults en­sue when Zero and re­cent sin­gle 20/20 are de­liv­ered with im­pres­sive po­tency. Andy Leo’s vo­cals aren’t al­ways the strong­est, but he proves a charis­matic front­man, with hum­ble be­tween-song bantz and a gen­eral air of cheer­lead­ing. His self-dep­re­cat­ing per­sona sug­gests he’s aware of his band’s oc­ca­sional silli­ness, while still ab­so­lutely lov­ing it, ap­pro­pri­ate for a bunch who of­ten sound like early Panic! At The Disco after a 72-hour ben­der sound­tracked by noth­ing but generic met­al­core. A clos­ing stage in­va­sion proves that this awk­ward con­coc­tion can still in­spire mag­nif­i­cent devo­tion.

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