Hactivist have a buzz about them like no other new band on the scene today. Almost universally heralded as the next big thing, the Milton Keynes 5-piece have a crossover appeal that few (even they) would have expected.
I’m pretty sure they are the first band I’ve photographed who have been the subject of a feature in the Guardian newspaper anyway ;-).
Hacktivist are out on their first UK tour, and after reviewing their E.P. a few weeks back I made damn sure I was at the Sheffield Corporation to see how their fusion of rap and tech metal worked live.
Speaking to bassist Josh (who some of you may recognise from his “other” job with Sacred Mother Tongue) before the show it was clear that the band were blown away by the reception they have received so far out on the road, drawing decent sized, and energetic, crowds to every show. Always nice to see a respectable turnout in Corporation for a mid week gig from a comparatively unknown band.
The short set tonight consisted of tracks from the debut E.P, and from the moment they kicked things off with New Age this was clearly going to be one of those gigs with “I was there” bragging rights ;-). The eponymous Hacktivist was up next, the razor sharp rapping from the two frontmen delivered with a machine gun intensity over a “proper” heavy metal backing with pin point percussion, rumbling bass and Timfy’s distinctive guitar tone, all of which are as much a hallmark of the band’s sound as the aforementioned rapping.
Blades (as played by Sara Cox on Radio 1 that very afternoon) was next before Non-E.P. track Djent in Paris (which was was a new one on me). The set finished with Unlike Us and Cold Shoulders, over too soon and definitely a case of the crowd being left wanting more…..
Now I’m not the biggest fan of tech metal, nor rap for that matter, but by god Hacktivist have stumbled onto something here. In a scene where every Djent band goes down the growley vocal route, frontmen J Hurley and Ben Marvin don’t do that, cos they is not mehtulz….. and that makes Hacktivist unlike any other band you may have seen.
That’s the thing about Hacktivist…. they may never be everyone’s cup of tea but on the strength of the E.P. and the sheer energy of the live show it’s blatantly obvious that they’re going to quickly acquire a substantial, and fanatical, following.
Believe the hype, Hacktivist WILL be huge.