Live Review

Live Review – Mastiff @ The Freebird, Newcastle-Under-Lyme – 23/02/19

During a brief conversation earlier in the night with Mastiff guitarist, James Lee, he described the band’s sound as ‘an acquired taste’. That might be quite the understatement as the band on stage make a noise so guttural, abrasive and just plain nasty, that you can almost feel the walls of the tiny pub they are playing in tonight straining to contain them.

Anyone who has heard the recently released Plague will have known exactly what to expect from Hull’s resident sludge merchants, but there are definitely a fair number of locals who have no idea what they are in store for and politely move next door. For everyone who is a fan of horrible music however, this is an aural assault that offers absolutely no respite. Riffs sounds like they have been drenched in tar, drums hit like a gunshot and the huge presence brought by frontman Jim Hodges seems to fuel the rest of the band and the crowd. Even with some slight problems with the vocals being inaudible early in the set, the sheer power of Mastiff means that everyone is still fully engrossed, and by the time they are sorted, it pushes them over the cliff edge into something truly special. The forty minutes which the band are on-stage for fly by and leaves everyone gagging for more, which is exactly how a hardcore show should be.

Performances like these are not going to go unnoticed for very long, and although tonight’s show takes place in a tiny pub on the outskirts of town, it won’t be long before Mastiff become the talk of the underground scene. It doesn’t take much to imagine the chaos their sludgy-hardcore will bring once word gets out.

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