The Smoking Hearts at The Old Blue Last
The Old Blue Last pub, which is occasionally a live venue, takes pride in being the place where the next big thing comes to perform before they break the U.K. A suitable venue then, for the launch of Victory!, upcoming band The Smoking Hearts’ second album.
The quintet are signed to Bomber Music – the same label that brought us ska-punk bands The Skints and Random Hand – but The Smoking Hearts are an altogether different breed. They’re more of a heavy metal band along the lines of Gallows or Bullet for My Valentine, and their live performance confirms this.
On their album they sound like a heavier Enter Shikari (circa Sorry You’re Not a Winner), and they bring the same energy onstage, relentlessly playing through their set with less than a moment’s breath between songs. This persistence pays off as the vibe is infectious, and the audience go just as crazy. Victory! has been described as “the soundtrack to the drunkest, wildest party you’ve ever been to”, and this certainly comes across tonight. As with all parties, there’s the chance that the whole thing could descend into chaos, and with aggressive vocalist Ben Mills’ in-your-face lyrics verging on the violent, it’s clear he isn’t averse to crossing that line. However, apart from the odd mosh-pit nothing goes seriously out of control.
Like most bands of this genre, the only thing that lets their show down is the songs themselves. With the exception of recent single Destroy! every song sounds the same: a squall of shouting and loud guitar riffs that blend into one another, with no way of distinguishing one track from the next. Only Destroy! with its recognisable chorus emerges from the crowd.
Overall, The Smoking Hearts have proved here at The Old Blue Last that they are a force to be reckoned with. Gallows have a fight on their hands if they want to keep their King of British Punk title from this five-piece hurricane.
For further information and future events visit The Smoking Hearts’ website here.
Watch the video for Destroy! here: