Published on June 14th, 2016 | by Ben Adsett0
Grove Street Families (G$F) – Wolverhampton – 02/06/2016
In a venue that would slip quite accurately into the digital world of Grand Theft Auto, complete with Hell’s Angels on the door, a grimy appearance and a room full of spin-kicks and wind-milling, Grove Street Families take to the stage. As a snippet from one of the radio stations within the video game world plays the audience pack in as close to the front as they dare and G$F begin an intense set.
Following on from three local beat-down hardcore acts, there is a gulf in class and style within this Southampton concept hardcore five-piece. Where other acts played hard, fast and with the emphasis on hyping the crowd into a frenzy of mostly well natured violence G$F want to bring the audience in close and take a little bit of sting out of the pit.
It would be easy to dismiss this band as a novelty as they set their music in the fictional town of Las Venturas from GTA, well it would be easy to do that until you heard them play. They play hardcore which in its make-up has nods towards every era to date, they play punk complete with tight snare, they play stoner riffs full of sludge and they play rap-rock which avoids sounding like nu-metal. The combination of influence and style comes together to create an expansive hardcore sound full of individuality.
As a live entity there is a passion and intensity to every second, making every second eye-catching with a real sense of showmanship. With a singer that stalks the front of the stage so effectively, guitars and bass step closer to the audience and create an intimate setting for the show which is already in a tiny room. This stalking seems to command respect, for the entire show there is a force field quality where the pit never gets close.
Musically intensity is added to already powerful material creating a visceral racket you can feeling rushing through the room. This is hardcore but there is a lot more to it than break downs and yelling, there are moments where guitars and bass combine into almost shoegaze or post-hardcore walls of sound and it is clear that boundaries are constantly being pushed. There are moments where gang vocals call the audience closer to the stage and behind everything there is a drummer who must be close to beat perfect beating the hell out of his drum kit.
The strangest thing about Grove Street Families is there has been a lot of focus on the GTA link but this focus should most definitely be on them being an incredibly talent hardcore band, a strongly recommended incredibly talented hardcore band at that!