Hard Working Class Heroes Day Two – Review
After the onslaught of impeccable bands on show from day one, excitement levels are soaring in Dublin tonight. There is a unique buzz around the city. The central hub of town has a great energy and vibe, and just seems more metropolitan than usual. We can only assume this is because the second night of HWCH is upon us, which has already impressed to no end.
Starting things off in The Academy main room, Lilla Vargen aptly kicks off the night with a mellow set of tender ballads. Accompanied only by herself on piano, the tunes are raw and communicate very well with the crowd. Her shy and almost timid demeanour carries the music brilliantly, and adds a quaint charm to the atmosphere. ‘This is Love’ is a truly soulful piece of music, and is definitely worth checking out.
Moving down to the green room, DVO Marvell make sure to inject some electricity into all the mellow heads wandering about. Their high gain hip hop is stunning, and is irresistible on the dance floor. With smooth backing vocals, tight raps and one powerhouse of a rhythm section, the crowd are nothing less than captivated. Tunes like ‘Still Got It’ are just immense live, and prove they are easily as good as any of their contemporaries.
Upon wandering over to the ever hip Workman’s Club, catching Atlas Moon in the middle of their set is one of those unexpected gems to stumble across. Mixing space rock sounds with Elbow like melodies and arrangements, they are definitely one of the most unique sounding acts thus far. With no drummer, backing tracks and synths provide an extra edge, and suits the aesthetic of the venue perfectly.
In a mad dash to Hangar, another unexpected treat comes in the form of Exploding Eyes, probably the loudest rock band we’ll see all weekend. With monster riffs, thumping drums and cheeky fringes, they have it all. Drawing on the sound of 60s psych, their trippy blend of filthy guitar solos and booming vocals are a force to be reckoned with. ‘We Need Love’ stands out, with testosterone filled riffs and perfectly executed harmonies. This is a serious live band without question.
Feeling content to stay put for a while longer, the fuzzy darlings that are Bitch Falcon take the stage, pulling an exceptionally large crowd too. Having gained a reputation for being one of Dublin’s most aggressive and powerful live acts, the female fronted grungers don’t delay in ensuing carnage. As the set progresses, the harder it becomes to recognise any notes at all, and just becomes a total sludge fest. While more than entertaining for twenty minutes, a full set is a bit hard to digest. Nevertheless, solid tunes like ‘Syncope’ prove they’re no gimmick.
Now heading over to the Mercantile for the last push of the night, cfit move centre stage with their synth tinged style of pop rock. Despite some technical difficulties with backing tracks, the tunes are very solid, albeit a bit generic sounding at times. The unique harmonies and synthesised instrumentation gives the music a lot of tension. Sometimes it works, and well, sometimes it just sounds a little off key. Despite all this, they are undoubtedly a memorable band with some damn fine pop songs.
Finally, our headliners of the night draw things to a close. Elastic Sleep are easily Ireland’s best shoegaze/dream pop band at the moment, and their live performances are nothing less than phenomenal. Every track is consistently beautiful, with juxtapositions of tone and dynamics everywhere. ‘Slip’ is thunderous and explosive, and like most of their tunes, are driven by the ferocious bass lines. After half an hour of ethereal awesomeness, an extra loud ‘Violent Green’ ends things in a wall of fuzz and soaring melodies.
That’s all she wrote for day two. Proving even better than day one, the night is a melting pot of just about every genre and atmosphere you could imagine. With one final day to go, the bar has been raised unfeasibly high. With bands, venues and crowds as good as this, it has become quite apparent that HWCH is the place to be.