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Live review

'68 @thejoshscogin

The Cricketers, Kingston

added: 8 Aug 2014 // gig date: 1 Aug 2014
reviewer: Steffie Beaven

'68 - The Cricketers, Kingston - Printable version
'68 could possibly be the most exciting thing to happen to metalcore for a very long time.

The Chariot frontman, Norma Jean initiator, seminal guitar and vocalist Josh Scogin heads up this yearling Duo (duo, not band, for tax reasons, they tell us) and is joined by the seriously impressive drummer Michael McClellan.

Venue wise was a regression perhaps for Scogin, with the tiny dive room at The Cricketers in the outback of Kingston, London. But what might lacking in decor was made up for in curiosity from those in attendance, to get a peek at what he’s been up to and what he’s going to bring them next.

Stage is a no go. For a miniscule venue they flout this in favour of playing pretty much in the crowd. They humbly step up and unleash what can only be described as persistent energy.
It’s not as hard as you’d expect from those who bought you the heavy belligerent timbre of The Chariot, only nodding to post-hardcore. Both guitar and drums are naive and bare.

Think if Jack White wanted to give Metal a crack, this is what it would sound like, or maybe like Black keys with an ominous back bone. Or maybe like The Kills if they’d have happened 10 years later. Perhaps they’re just a completely new concept in the Metal scene that we can’t put our finger on.

It’s progressive and hums that charming southern drawl. There’s impressive use of phase samplers of the calibre that you’d expect from Scogin, but it results in a sound way too luxury and rich for just a duo to produce.
They’re both charming and enthralling, with Scogin playing with his back half turned on the crowd. Clambering over McClellan’s drum kit and mounting the amps at the sets climax. They segue effortlessly into a Nirvana cover of Tourette's and the crowd is enthralled.

From such a young band you’d expect the set list to be minimal, but we’re all just left wanting more and more.

One thing’s for certain, ’68 are on a trajectory for great things.

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4 stars

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