Monday, August 8, 2011


“Someone’s gotta play first,” says Authority Zero frontman Jason DeVore, looking like Yosemite Sam in an Adolescents shirt. Luckily for the Arizona punk rock veterans, this is London (not Milan). And towards the end of their short opening set, Islington Academy fills up fast.

Tonight’s the last night of Pennywise, A Wilhelm Scream and Authority Zero’s month-long 2011 European tour. And to the left of the stage, Authority Zero bassist Jeremy Wood’s terrorist-alert, mountain man face foliage takes weary-eyed road dog chic to the next level.

After a mad dose of hillbilly rambling, DeVore’s voice hits boiling point. Suddenly, there’s magic in them there vocal chords and the last few songs of Authority Zero’s set sound way more engaging than their predecessors.

It’s no good trying to do A Wilhelm Scream’s live show justice. Watching them’s like watching an over the top fireworks display. Wherever you look, you know you’re missing out on something just as awesome. From guitarist Trevor Reilly’s possessed fingers, bassist Brian Robinson’s brain-melting fiddly bits and new-ish guitarist Mike Supina’s blazing solos, to drummer Nicholas Angelini’s subtle brilliance and stage destroying frontman Nuno Pereira’s explosive intensity. Tonight, A Wilhelm Scream are the best band on planet Earth!

A Wilhelm Scream's live show's so intense, they all need running shoes to see it through. Pereira tears around the stage in a Lawrence Arms "Get Fucked" t-shirt, pointing out earth shattering solos and thrashy instrumental jams like a mad-toothed conductor losing sleep.


You've gotta appreciate their tenacity, but up next, Pennywise sound like dinosaurs. National Product frontman Danny Casler, standing in for new Pennywise vocalist Zoli Téglás while he tours with Ignite, looks like a kid playing with his dad’s friends. And compared to A Wilhelm Scream (and even Authority Zero), Pennywise’s live show lacks personality - the best part of their set is when Jason DeVore joins the band on stage for a cover of "Minor Threat".

Overall, the Californian legends are tight as hell, dishing out punk rock anthems like “Fuck Authority”, “Same Old Story” and “Bro Hymn” towards the end - by which stage the crowd's thick and mental - but I found myself bored, wishing for more Wilhelm Scream...

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