Aggression is not something that Medway’s Feed The Rhino are short of. In fact, faced with a somewhat lethargic crowd response to their first few songs, vocalist Lee Tobin knows what he must do, namely remove himself from the stage and get in Brummie faces. Supporting just about every hardcore band they can find has long been a strategy FTR are doing their best to drag audience by audience with them, kicking and screaming if they have to.
That most recent album “The Burning Sons” is an improvement on the promise of the previous “Mr Red Eye” is clear and with songs as brutal as “Left For Ruins” in their arsenal, Rhino’s time can still arrive.
You can’t accuse of Gallows of not setting the bar high for this, their comeback tour. The Birmingham show is the penultimate of a mammoth 14-date trek, as a way to introduce your singer, you really cannot say fairer than that.
Of course, it helps if your new singer is pretty used to such matters and certainly Wade MacNeil, once of the rather marvelous Alexisonfire, doesn’t seem too perturbed at replacing Frank Carter after the latter made his shock exit last year.
It also helps if your new album is as good as Gallows self-titled comeback record was and is, and after things kick off with “Misery” from previous album “Grey Britain” its straight in with three from the new CD, including an aggressive “Everyone Loves You (When You’re Dead) and the lead single “Last June.”
The rest of the hour-long set is fairly even split between the three full-length releases, with MacNeil’s fake cockney sneer working a treat. The encore of “Victim Culture” and two old songs in “Abandon Ship” and “Orchestra Of Wolves” ends slightly chaotically with the frontman going crowd surfing and getting lost in the bodies, but this is, after all, essentially a punk gig, albeit one by a band who you suspect has a hardcore metal heart.
This is a comeback that doesn’t bother with baby steps and easing itself in gently, but rather runs straight for you grab you by the throat. And this version of Gallows is only just getting started.