RAYLEIGH BOTB - 12/8/11 - REMEMBER DECEMBER, CURBSIDE HOTEL, BOY CRIES WOLF, CIRCLE THE ATLANTIC, FALLEN ARCHES
REMEMBER DECEMBER - CANVEY ISLAND - ALTERNATIVE / POP ROCK
With essentially melodic female vocals in the vein of Paramore at the frontlne, Remember December drags the best of Pop Rock into the Essex atmosphere, aligning a feeling of riot grrl in the repertoire they single out an illusive atmospheric backdrop of Punk Rock influences, the sort of music that's pretty much in your face. So if you like Paramore / Sex Pistols in their darkest respective forms, Remember December is for you. Almost nearly a heavier and punk-laden Madina Lake, without any emo infringement. In an overall nutshell Remember December excavated the hidden dimensions immersed within the unchallenged combination of riot grrl, Pop Punk and the infamous Essex brutality. Whilst this is clearly not Metal, Remember December clearly has the attitude of Punk and Metal but retain themselves from hitting Hardcore Punk status - more so this is a good reason on the basis the music they play would not click onto the Hardcore genre. Genre tagging these guys and girl is a tricky one but in Metal terms, they reside within Alternative Metal and in it's driest form - Heavy Metal. For the benefit of the doubt they are not your My Chemical Romance either, but drag influences in from the latter - precisely the latest MCR album - exactly the 'na na na na na na na' song. It would seem Hayley Williams has an Essex rival - in musical quality simply as she brings much more than her soft vocals to the stage, she brings a bag full of explosive vocals. None Miss Williams could ever muster. Even having the brilliance to whip in a Pink cover song - 'lets get this party started' and so for Remember December, this is the future of Pop Punk Rock.
 RHYS STEVENSON
CURBSIDE HOTEL - SOUTHEND-ON-SEA - ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Bringing a slaughter of Pop Rock / Blues infused Pop Punk, or just rock? Rhetorical question. This band delivers a sumptuous cataclysmic algorithm of Melodic vocals, pop tinged vocals and progressive drumming, even diving into a soft rock sound dominated by the depths of the bass on 'my faith' - one would also convert this tune into soul without losing any rock power or momentum, this quartet know how to unleash a torrent of ever-changing genre sounds, a ballistic onslaught of female-fronted pop rock. The sort of music BBC Radio 1 should whack up on their broadcasting and dislodge the mainstream infectious diseased crap we have to suffer with. Rock and Metal is the way forward and with bands like Curbside Hotel, that could easily be the case in years to come. One thing is for sure that this band definitely knows how to unleash a different wave of noise - likeable noise at that - with every different song, catering for nearly all tastes, nearly because it is impossible to see Black Metal fans moshing to this, unless they go camp, but this music isn't camp, not on the life of Freddie Mercury is it, they're lean, they're mean, they're in their teens.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
BOY CRIES WOLF - LEIGH-ON-SEA - FOLK ROCK / POWER-POP
Kicking into overdrive and emerging into a bizarre mix of Celtic style rock, evident with the drumming, flute and violin, this septet brings a clear Folk Rock stabber to the stage, forget the Guinness and Irish cos-playing, for this band take Celtic Rock to the absolute peak of leprechaun mountain, fat geography. Inevitably this band has made the audience go bloody wild,Pop Rock immersed by the traditional Irish Celtic music, it would be a surprise if this lot aren't picked up by Kerrang. The boundaries are broken with this band, cursing Celtic Rock with powerful Pop Rock and absolute funk galore. Party music none the less, that is one way to describe it but at the same time this is proper old school rock, possibly in the vain of Oasis or Feeder. But one thing for certain, is this septet is bringing the rock roots to their former glory. The embodiment of this band is so unique, a flautist / violinist, a keyboardist, a drummer, a vocalist, a bassist and two guitarists, one can only imagine them at V Festival.
 RHYS STEVENSON
CIRCLE THE ATLANTIC - SOUTHEND - HARD / ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Hardcore or Post-Hardcore, the genre is the question, the answer is something of a dispute. But for this quintet, a fair succinct sound devours the atmosphere, sadly even the crowd who just split in two. Maybe they blew them away, or maybe blew up the speakers, however the band seems to have a good beat to set as an example to other similar bands. Balls of fury and bags of sweat incur on this very period of un-heavenly composition array. A brutal tantalizing array of fruitful beats, vicious vocals and bone-breaking riffs, this is the sick shit storm we were waiting for, pardon my French. A slick blast of intellectual heavy music and funky intuition, fists raised, heads bobbing, a truly brutal band.
 RHYS STEVENSON
FALLEN ARCHES - WICKFORD - POST-HARDCORE
Bombarding the room with a blitz of maniacal hardcore is this sextet, sifting a sieve full of brain-shattering blast-beats, spine-raping riffs and venomous vocals. Fallen Arches break all sound barriers in the most violent of ways, in theatrical stage form not The Who (er-hem). But enough to crush craniums with the flick of the amp switch, even if they deviate from heavy to soft, the atmosphere is totally nucleated with audio atomic explosions and extreme hardcore / deathcore (or metalcore) - but definitely a band to watch out for, not bad for a small town like Wickford to be fair.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
WINNER: BOY CRIES WOLF