Lost Society are trekking around the UK on their own employing local supports as they lay waste to various towns along the way as this Sheffield gig was supported by two Chesterfield acts Thrashsquatch and Empuser, both of whom were unknown to me. It is tempting to completely lambast the first opener Thrashsquatch mainly because they pulled off every cliché imaginable in a band with two of the guys wearing a head band plus the bassist had goggles on plus had poured fake blood down his shirt and on his mouth. Also there was a pig mask on top of one of amps, more on this later and to be honest it all came across as a parody which the audience seemed to enjoy but I found to be cringeworthy.
However the band kicked off their show in a slightly chaotic fashion as the opener had a crossover slant, though I couldn’t hear the back vocal guy until I moved positions. After the dodgy start “Am I Real?” came next and it was apparent the band was high energy but low on riffs as my first jolt was the need for them to tighten up substantially. You can’t go wrong with a song called “Thrash Til Death” of which there are dozens of bands who have a song called this. The speed and energy was there as the crowd enjoyed their rudimentary riffing as the guitarist had a tech issue resulting in a pause. A few funny comments ensued to keep us entertained, such as “can anyone play guitar? He can but chooses not to” pointing at the stricken guitarist trying to sort his instrument out. “Man Eating Squid” had more crossover highlights as the song increased the speed and whilst I found it all generic the nodding heads of the audience showed they were enjoying it, unless it was a Pavlov’s dog response. The pig mask came out for “Thrashsquatch” worn by the bassist which I failed to see the point of as the songs title was chanted at us leaving only a couple of tracks to go though I only wrote about “Rise Of The Robots”. A more heavy metal based track the band were pulling off every pose possible as by now I thought maybe they were aliens and had been watching old thrash videos, especially the terrible tacky promo ones back in the 80s and arrived on earth as Thrashsquatch. Whatever it was I hoping Tommy Lee Jones or Will Smith would appear and send them back into the cosmos, though the crowd thought they were great!
I am sure I read somewhere that Empusa were dubbed as a thrash act supporting this show, if they were they didn’t show up because the Empusa that I saw was a metalcore outfit playing down tuned riffing thuggery with only brief hints of any thrash. Announcing who they are they went into “Overthrow” with its thumping riff backed by a ramped up drum sound as there was no bassist playing. The breakdown riffing was well placed as the amiable singer asked how we all are before the next song. The density of their music was decent, as both guitarists traded riffs but I felt it lacked a bit of personality as there are literally hundreds of bands like this. The use of clean vocals in this genre is nothing new and thankfully the guitarist singing them was accomplished though he was low in the mix due to the amount of bass produced by the kick drums. “The Unseen World” (I think that was what it was called) was a decent track, blending the brutish riffing with the pulverising drums whilst the singer cavorted around on stage doing his best to energise the crowd, and in truth it was the guys in Thrashsquatch making the most noise for them. They closed with “Envy The Dead”, which also has a video too I believe, and whilst the song was a little different to the others it still languished with the metalcore mediocrity but like the first band the audience enjoyed it and I did to some degree.
Whenever I’ve seen Finnish thrashers Lost Society they have obliterated the venue, their thrash is some of the most energetic you’ll ever hear and despite the small attendance on the night they ripped the place to pieces as a rumble of bass filtered over the PA and the singer shouted “Sheffield, how the fuck we doing” and belted into “Trash All Over You”. The shift in energy was cataclysmic as the guitarists flailed around on stage narrowly avoiding colliding with each other, it was remarkable that they didn’t as “Overdosed Brain” followed. One of the guys stood on the speaker stack near me head banging like his life depended on it, shredding through the songs warp speed violence. A new song was aired next called “My Prophecy” which took things down a tad and indicated what the new album might sound like. With continual thanks to us for coming out “Hollow Eyes” tore into the audience with its old school razor riffing prior to which they indulged in a good old fashioned synchro headbang. “Rage Me Up” was super vicious, the frenzied assault was unerring and lead into “Terror Hungry” with its ridiculous tempo. With the song shifting into its groove piece the band just flailed their heads.
For reasons I cannot understand they decided to play a Rage Against The Machine cover, “Guerilla Radio” which was instantly recognised by the crowd but when they have so much material I wanted their own songs but it was clear they were having fun playing the track as a short solo battle followed that lead into the simply but effectively titled “Kill”. Again the band used every bit of space standing on the speaker stacks headbanging dementedly as they slowed down for “I Am The Antidote” which strangely had a mini pit, almost slow motion style. Another new track was aired, titled “No Absolution” which was more tech based but catchy as hell as the singer asked us for some noise, which we did. They closed with “Riot” announcing that “we are Lost motherfucking Society and thanks for being with us”. There was a brief sing back during this which I never like as the band really did rip the Corporation to shreds.
WORDS: MARTIN HARRIS
PHOTOS: ANDY POUNTNEY