Employed To Serve @ Slade Rooms, 24th July 2018

It would seem that recently Wolverhampton has slowly began to fall from the touring schedule map, perhaps due to the renovation of the Civic Hall taking up most of the venues time. However on Tuesday evening there was a shining beacon amongst the gloom with Employed To Serve performing their album ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’ in full at the Slade Rooms.

Before all that though there was a flurry of support bands in quick succession to begin the evening, with Birmingham’s Dead Hands opening the show. Despite an initially small crowd, this grew throughout the band’s performance to give them a sizeable audience by the time their set was through. Serving up an energetic and impressive performance for an opening band, the hardcore mob certainly got the show off to a great start.

Next up were the first of the tour supports for the evening, Manchester hardcore band Leeched provided the audience with a much heavier and beating performance with drummer Tom proving a highly imposing figure behind the kit. The band release their debut record ‘You Took The Sun When You Left’ on Prosthetic Records in August.

The penultimate band of the evening was Venn Record signee’s Rough Hands, who brought a modern and alternative sound to the show. With the vocalist using effects on his voice throughout the performance, the band was a breath of fresh air from what had come before them. With a show in Birmingham later in the year, the group are certainly exciting and well worth a watch.

Following the release of their second record ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’ more than a year ago, Employed To Serve became the band that everyone was talking about as the ones to take hardcore forward due to the album’s broad scope and technical skill. Performing the album in full and in sequence, the crowd were totally in anticipation of what was to come from the off. Tracks such as ‘I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away)’ and ‘Void Ambition’ saw the crowd lose their actual minds. There was even a guy playing his leg like it was a guitar, it had to be seen to be believed.

Despite lead vocalist Justine’s quiet nature between songs, her growl and aggression really cut through whilst the rest of the band truly bring the songs to life in the live environment. There were also slow moments such as end track ‘Apple Tree’ before the band returned to the stage with an older cut of ‘Beg For Rain’.

There’s a reason that bands names get bandied around often and that’s either because they’re an incredible live act or have recorded an incredible record. Luckily for Employed To Serve they manage to do both, and long may it continue.

Reviewer:  Dan Earl

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