Beartooth – Reading Festival Sunday August 30 2015

I discovered Beartooth at this years Download Festival and they blew me away.  I was thrilled to find out that they were also playing in “The Pit” at Reading Festival last weekend, it was a show that I was not going to miss.

The good thing about music festivals is that you invariably find new bands to love, the downside is that sets are often as short as 30 minutes as festivals attempt to please fans with as wide a range of artists as they can possibly cram in.  Such was the case with Beartooth’s set, it was to be a 30 minute set but a set of such energy and intensity that everyone in and around the tent was emotionally drained and exhausted by the end of it.

Some bands are clearly focused around a front man, Morrissey with the Smiths, Robert Smith with the Cure and so it is with Beartooth.  Caleb Shomo is a front man like few others.  He has a brooding angry intensity that is rarely equaled much less surpassed.  Shomo’s lyrics are full of angst, suffering and anguish and he frequently screams his lyrics in the style of the heaviest metal core bands.  In my view the presence of rebelliousness and punk style melodies and hooks in most of the songs in Beartooths debut album Disgusting mean that they sit more comfortably within the hardcore punk genre.  It is perhaps a moot point and indicative of the current obsession with trying to label bands across far too many genre’s within rock music.

Reading 2015 Beartooth

Unsurprisingly all seven songs from their short set came from the debut album.  Opening with “The Lines” Shomo proceeded to scream snarl and spit his way through “Relapsing,” “In Between” and “I Have A Problem” but it was when he got to “Dead” that Shomo really showed us what he is capable of.  “Beaten In Lips” is one of Beartooth’s more melodic songs, the anthemic chorus lines may be sing-a-long but they do little to challenge the call to arms the song truly is.  This is a song with dark and disturbing lyrics, a tale of child abuse, but one that urges the survivor to “keep living loud and proud.”

As Shomo hit “Body Bag” the crowd went absolutely nuts, well even more than they were already.  The mosh pit went into an absolute frenzy and the entire crowd screamed back the lyrics “one life, one decision, make sure it ends with you still living.”

Do have a look at the video’s if you are not familiar with Beartooth, they are not from Reading but they do have festival footage which gives you a good idea of the intensity that beartooth create.

Make no mistake, Beartooth are the real deal.  Shomo is nothing less than mesmeric as a performer and the band is as tight as a camel’s ass in a sandstorm.  Beartooth have come a long way in a short time and on the back of a single album.  They have what it takes to become massive.  This is a band that will be headlining festivals like Download and Reading in two or three years time if they can maintain their progress.

They have already hit the top five in my list of favourite contemporary rock bands.

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

Sing out here if you want to be heard!

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