Counterparts + Polar @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 14th November, 2017


I ventured to Nottingham to catch American hardcore band Counterparts; the Rescue Rooms being a nice little gem of a venue situated next door to Rock City. First up, Polar, a Hardcore band from Surrey. Forming in 2009, the band as supported the likes of While She Sleeps and Defeater; building up a loyal fan base through their strong live shows.

Jumping straight into their set, ‘Blood for Blood’ taken from their latest release ‘No Cure No Saviour’ (2016), gives us a taste of what to come; aggressive and crushing lyrics with guitar work reminiscent of Beartooth. ‘Downfall’ also from the latest record followed suit.’Glass Cutter’ from ‘In At The Deep End’ (2014) saw some impressive raw; guttural lows from Adam Woodford and the clean ‘chanted’ choruses reminded me of While She Sleeps. The earlier work seems more melodic here. ‘Deus Ex Machina’ was a crowd-pleaser and we saw some early pit action. ‘Breathe’ (2017) saw some more experimental sound sampling especially at the start of the song and could be compared to Bring Me The Horizon. Overall they gave their all tonight and most definitely gained a few more friends in the process.

Counterparts came onstage at 20.45pm and treated the fans to 12 songs, 6 from their latest album ‘You’re Not You Anymore’ (2017), 3 from ‘Tragedy Will Find Us’ (2015), 2 from ‘The Difference Between Hell and Home’ (2013) and 2 from ‘The Current Will Carry Us’ (2011).


‘Bouquet’ got the smiling crowd moving about early on and lead singer Brendan Murphy showed no trepidation onstage; jumping around and giving it his all. The melodic nature to this style of hardcore can be compared with Beartooth’s ‘Disgusting’ (2014); fast shouty verses with captivating choruses. ‘Stranger’ took one from the album before and impressed me with it’s raw sound, their are no gimmicks here.


Even earlier, ‘Witness’, reminded me of Architects song lyrically with some cheeky djenting thrown in and some very nice riffs Every Time I Die-esque. The composition of the song is more balanced here and timings are well placed from Brendan. The crowd loved this one and the voices were heard. ‘Swim Beneath my Skin’ had a great energy about it, drummer Kyle earned his salt here as did Adrian Lee and Blake Hardman, the song came together brilliantly. Brendan’s vocals were consistent.


The band took a moment or two to thank the fans for supporting them and appreciating their music. The willingness to share a joke with the fans and casually chat to them amplified their humble nature and was a memorable moment.


They ended with ‘Disconnect’ from 2011 and it ensured the night went out with a bang. Arms were flailed, lyrics were chanted and chaos ensued in the pits. The song is as raw as they come lyrically, describing their hatred of the fake aspects of modern life and the riffs were a tasty addition.

They tore it up tonight.

Review and photographs Neale Hayes

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