CAR BOMB, after a series of shows supporting juggernauts GOJIRA in massive venues around the UK, headed out on their own headline tour of the UK in late September. Off the back of their release Meta in 2016, their fanbase have been revived after several years of lying dormant. With a sound reminiscent of titans such as MESHUGGAH, GOJIRA and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, the evening looked set to be a heavy one. Their Manchester stop hit the far-from-modest Rebellion bar, and they brought crushingly heavy support in the form of New York mathcore crew CIRCUIT OF SUNS and UK metalcore act SWORN AMONGST. We were there to watch the tech-madness unfold.
After a smooth setup, UK boys SWORN AMONGST wasted no time in diving into their set. Delivering chunky grooves and very satisfying breakdowns, they seemed to go down rather well with the attendees that turned up in time. Wearing infeasibly tight shorts and a snapback in a rather Alex-from-CHELSEA GRIN way, frontman Darryl Jones seemed confident, even with such big boots to fill for a new band on the lineup. The lead guitarist also seemed eager to prove himself, enthusiastically plunging into power-metal-style solos every other minute. Whilst they may not have been entirely as technical as their mathcore counterparts, they made up for it in sheer British balls and enthusiasm. A promising set.
Main support was provided by New Yorkers CIRCUIT OF SUNS. Whilst being relatively unknown in this country, they certainly made sure of that no longer being the case. Self-announcing themselves in a modest fashion after a quiet changeover, vocalist Mo Kofuma brooded menacingly over Rebellion’s stage. What followed was entirely unexpected – an absolute sonic pummelling. Their sound was reminiscent of a mixture of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and EMMURE, with strong death metal influences. Punishingly heavy and quick, Mike Darin‘s picking astounded the crowd and left them begging for more. For a band that works from Bandcamp sales, entirely unsigned, their sound was matured like that of a band that had gone international years ago. The sheer technicality of the instrumentals mixed with the progressive range of Kofuma, who ranged from rumbling death growls to booming, choral clean vocals that rounded off a totally unique soundscape.
CAR BOMB hit the stage to a noticeably more full room than the first act. Despite looking a little like a dad rock band, appearances are often deceiving. For fans of the genre, many would know them as a mathcore mainstay, being active for way over a decade now. Their latest release, 2016’s Meta, is an absolute Goliath of a record, sounding like MESHUGGAH on steroids. They brought the full intensity of their music to Rebellion on the night. Pillar strobe lights blinded the audience while CAR BOMB pummelled the crowd with their technical brilliance. One of the most impressive facts of the band’s performance is that they don’t use a click in their ears, something almost entirely unheard of nowadays. Powering through monolithic songs like Black Blood, From The Dust Of This Planet and M^6, the crowd quickly whipped up into a pit. With only a couple of technical difficulties with the drums, the set was almost flawless. The fact that guitarist Greg Kubacki holds up their entire guitar sound by himself whilst still creating their huge and technical sound live really is a testament to their establishment in the genre. Hopefully we’ll be seeing them in bigger venues with bands like GOJIRA again soon.
Check out our photo gallery from the night’s action in Manchester from Em Coulter Photography here: