Review: Spring King @ The Hope and Ruin, 17/02/16

The capacity crowd crammed into The Hope and Ruin are sweating as they shelter from the rain outside, even before Spring King appear to begin their first headline show in Brighton. The motoric drone-rock of main support act Fews has already managed to send drinks skywards, as those in attendance attempt to shake off that mid-week-in-February feeling that we all know and love.

Urging the crowd towards them, Spring King open with Better Man. With its breakneck riffs saddling relentless drums it immediately sends sections of the audience into frenzied pogoing. Whilst the songs ebb and flow, the tempo doesn’t drop, and with all four band members providing vocals, the crowd are whipped into a hysteria, with beer thumping off the ceiling throughout the introduction of newer numbers Tell Me If You Like To and Detroit.

There’s barely a second to catch your breath as the band rattle through the anthemic menace of Demons and new single, Rectifier, which encapsulate the band’s ability to harness the attitude of football terrace chants alongside big choruses, all whilst tearing along at whirlwind speeds. It’s machine-gun music, confrontational and quick, and it gains a huge response as mass singalongs abound. Even the band seem surprised, thanking the crowd for the big response to a single that was only released two days ago.

The reverb-swamped In All This Murk and Dirt gives the crowd-surfers respite from dodging the steel girder that divides the area in front of the stage in two, with its plodding beat and squally feedback building to a joyful crescendo that entices the sort of singing with one hand in the air you normally only see by the jukebox at kicking-out time. There’s even time for a delightfully pop-punk reimagining of Grimes’ Oblivion, which brings the trance-pop original roaring to life.

The rattling rhythm of City closes the night, simmering below throughout before boiling over in a glorious final reprise that sends bodies flying across the venue. The restrained aggression demonstrated throughout is finally unleashed in a roaring rock pomp, sending people surfing on shoulders long after the music fades away.

Dazed and drenched in sweat, the crowd dodge the trail of broken glass and spilt liquor that the band have left in their wake. With raucous energy and infectious enthusiasm throughout, Spring King have managed to generate the sort of rapturous response that many bands take years and albums of devotion to create. Tonight may have been their first headline show in Brighton, but if they can continue to recreate the ferocious bedlam on offer tonight, you can guarantee it won’t be their last.

By Lennon Craig

The Verse Staff

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