Hardcore is, to be fair, not always CackBlabbath’s genre of choice…. especially in the massive overdose of generally very similar sounding bands which grace the three stages of Ghostfest. In a scene where everything seems to merge into one long sea of blast beats, breakdowns and ill advised tattoos it takes a band with a certain extra edge to really stand out…
Now usually when we have to pick a highlight after a festival, no one can agree on who the band of the weekend were. Not so at Ghostfest where all the members of Team CB unanimously had Aussie outfit Villa Rise in their top three.
And I don’t think we were the only ones.
Judging by the substantial crowd that had gathered to catch their set, Villa Rise’s reputation had preceded them, and as they ripped into set opener Jetlag the wall of energy coming off the stage was… well… you had to be there. Intense doesn’t even begin to cover it and this was about as in your face a performance as you could ever imagine, with frontman Jarrod spending as much time on the barrier as he did in the stage.
At the risk of sounding like an old fart (which, technically, I am ;-)) there’s something earnest, something sincere about Villa Rise. They play Hardcore Punk not because it’s part of a scene, but rather because it’s the perfect medium for the band to get across their message.
The other thing about Villa Rise is that although they do, for the most part, let it rip they also back off the gas occasionally which only serves to enhance their impact.
Coincidentally, they also sounded much better than most of the other bands playing the festival, delivering a “proper” heavy bottom end, a rock solid rhythm section and an awesome crunchy guitar tone.
I’d be hard pushed to find fault with Villa Rise’s performance, unlike the moronic hardcore kid who decided that it’s be cool to be a knob throughout their set. If you think slamming girls into the barrier is cool, you’re a massive bell end.
Villa Rise restored our faith that the increasingly generic and image infatuated Hardcore scene does still have something new and exciting to offer. Honestly, if you get the chance to go see these guys you should take it. Down to earth and genuinely appreciative of the chances they’ve been given, they are a lot more deserving of your support than some we could mention ;-).
We spoke to the band afterwards to find out what they made of Ghostfest…
“Ghostfest was an amazing experience, we’d never seen a festival of that scale that features hardcore or metal specifically, and especially one that has such an awesome cross section of British and International talent. It was rad for us just to be hanging around in an atmosphere like that, we’d love to do it more!
Being in the UK has been a pretty turbulent experience, its been like normal life but amplified. We’ve had some great times seeing a little bit of the country and meeting awesome people and great musicians, but at the same time, its pretty tough financially and being away from home and the support of our family and friends back there. We’re trying to make the most of it, there are a lot of great opportunities over here and we want to take them”.