Review: Moose Blood, O2 Institute 2, Birmingham

British pop punk has been leading the charge of the "we're not dead" revolution for quite some time now. With bands like Neck Deep, Decade, Roam and Trash Boat leaping from height to height - a new contender has entered the ring, Moose Blood.

Review: Moose Blood, O2 Institute 2, Birmingham

Moose Blood. Pic:

With the release of their brand new album Blush, the Canterbury mob have gathered together some of the leading heavyweights in pop punk and emo from across the continents to showcase what they're made of, with the first stop being Birmingham's O2 Institute 2.

All the way from Tazmania, up-and-coming stars Luca Brasie stormed the stage with the soul of punk rock running through their veins.

They may be relative unknowns, but it was hard not to shake your head and throw your hands in the air to the raging guitars and visceral lyrics being thrown right in your face.

Despite this ballsy exterior, the quartet knew how to endear a crowd and draw them straight in - mostly with many humble thank yous.

It's hard to follow an act like that, but no one can make a tornado of human limbs quite like Blackpol mob Boston Manor.

High off the release of brand new album Be Nothing, the band treated the crowd to a rendition of heartfelt, angst-ridden lyrics wrapped in soaring chords, booming drums and chord-tearing vocals that turned the whole room into a tsunami.

Calming the crowd were emo nice-guys Turnover, bringing an ethereal and grungy edge to the night's proceedings.

Their music was lucid, with echoing chords and booming drums taking fans on an aural journey to another dimension, to be brought sharply back to Earth with the juxtaposition of harmonious singing and crushing shouting of their rich lyrics.

It's easy to think that following the raucous atmosphere, this chilled and spacey band may become lost  - but their emo/grunge/punk style complimented their predecessors and created a brooding, thoughtful and atmospheric interlude that tugged right at fans' heartstrings.

The room filled with pink, the orange cabs flashed with pink strobe lights, and Moose Blood took to the stage.

From the first ringing chords of Pastel, the crowd hung on the band's every movement.

With a reaction like this becoming a normality for the band, you'd maybe expect them to take this for granted. You'd be wrong. The crowd were constantly thanked and praised humbly by the band and told it was them who had made this possible.

Gritty renditions of Honey, Bukowski, I Hope You're Miserable, Swim Down and Knuckles showcased everything that is great about Moose Blood - they can switch so delicately between harmony and chaos, they can break your heart with just a few words, and they can make you fall in love with their feel-good attitude and passion for their craft.

Everyone left sweaty, exhausted but none-the-less invigorated by the sheer love and appreciation every soul experienced within the small venue. Pop punk is certainly not dead, it is evolving into something much bigger and emotionally powerful than we have previously experienced.

And it was one hell of a show.

By Becci Stanley
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