Imperial Clothing Stage
Words by Liam McGarry
A crazy a couple of years for Hertfordshire quartet My Passion shows no sign of slowing down. The band have honed their sound, concocting an electro, punk rock style, whilst blending in some devilishly poppy hooks and choruses. Backed to the hilt by a certain weekly rock magazine, the Hitchin mob have made a real name for themselves since forming from the remains of glam rock act Shard in 2005. After releasing debut Corporate Flesh Party to a good overall reception, no time has been wasted, with sophomore offering In This Machine, scheduled for release in October. Having toured with everyone from Jeffrey Star to All Time Low, My Passion may just have the cross genre appeal to make it big time, and Slam Dunk could just be a stepping stone en route.
Recommended: 'Crazy & Me'
Devil Sold His Soul
Much is expected of metal sextet Devil Sold His Soul. After receiving positive reviews from all corners for their debut full-length release, all eyes are on the band to see whether they can avoid the dreaded “second album syndrome” and deliver with their pending sophomore record “Blessed and Cursed”. Providing an intense mix of progressive rock and metal, the band slam home with gargantuan guitars and ferocious vocals that justify the hype surrounding them. Formed partly from the remains of Mahumodo in 2004, DSHS stem from various places in the south of England. Slam Dunk signals what could be an incredible few months for the metallers, with appearances at Ghostfest and Hevy Festival and a mini UK headline tour making for what should be a summer to remember.
Recommended: 'As The Storm Unfolds'
Slam Dunk signals the start of a busy summer for St Albans quintet Your Demise. Not content with hitting Download festival and recording the follow up to 2009’s ‘Ignorance Never Dies’, they also head out on a tour of the US with Christian metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada until late August. Crashing riffs, furious beatdowns and aggression to rival anyone, Your Demise are being marked as a bright new hope in UK hardcore. Life hasn’t always been plain sailing though. Since forming in 2003, the 4-piece have gone through no fewer than twelve former members until finding the current formation. Add being held at gunpoint by immigration officials in Canada and 24 hours in solitary confinement in a Belgian prison, and Hatfield and Leeds should prove a piece of cake.
Recommended: 'Burnt Tongues'
When your brothers are members of hardcore heavyweights Gallows, venturing out with your own band is always going to have its problems. Richard Carter’s Blackhole are dogged by constant comparisons and suspicions that they may have had their way paved through brotherly love, making the task of building a reputation exceedingly difficult. The Hemel Hempstead 5-piece’s brand of hardcore is tidier though, whilst still maintaining the grit that defines the genre with fierce guitars and front man Carter’s bulldog like growl. Completed by Andreas Yiasoumi and Nick Mitchell in guitars, Max Hart on bass and Alex Hunt on drums, Blackhole only formed in 2007, but already have two releases under their belts, as well as tours with Underoath and fellow Slam Dunkers We Are The Ocean.
Recommended: 'Not That This Is A Bad Thing'
Masks a la Slipknot, distorted vocals that would drive Hello Goodbye mental, hooks that McFly themselves would be proud to hang their coats off and topped off with a genuinely razor-sharp rock edge. There you have a very brief summary of Japanese rockers FACT. Now, I know that might sound god awful, but with over ten years of touring experience, alongside the likes of Senses Fail, A Skylit Drive and I Wrestled A Bear Once, the 5-piece’s sound has got them a fair way thus far. Coming into Slam Dunk slap bang in the middle of a UK tour in support of Breathe Carolina, they are also jetting home to play at Japanese festival Summer Sonic in August, sharing stages with the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and 30 Seconds to Mars.
Recommended: 'A Fact Of Life'
Flood of Red
Also representing our northern neighbours at this year’s event are Flood of Red, and with them they bring a sound much altered and defined over the last year. The Glaswegians bring a sound a la Saosin with just a hint of Circa Survive, with sincere emotive vocals set to epic, intelligent musicianship. Since forming in 2004, the 6-piece have toured religiously, with bands such as Enter Shikari and Madina Lake, and have even managed to ignore varied record deal offers, citing their wish to “last” as their prime reason. With a fan base as dedicated as the band themselves, Flood of Red have built a reputation that precedes them everywhere they go, and Slam Dunk is awaiting, arms opened wide.
Recommended: 'A Place Before The End'
Flood Of Red's Graham Griffith briefly spoke to ATP! about the band's Slam Dunk appearence.
Are you looking forward to the festival?
We are very excited about Slam Dunk this year. There are some incredible bands playing as well as some good friends and it's also happening two nights in a row!!
What can fans expect from Flood of Red at Slam Dunk?
They can expect our usual balls out rock!! We are going to play stuff from our debut album 'Leaving Everything Behind' and we might even throw in a couple oldies as well.
Are there any other bands you want to see?
There are quite a few bands I'm excited about seeing although I am mostly excited to see Crime in Stereo. I love the new album and can't wait to see some of it live.
Why should fans watch your band?
Because we will play with more passion and energy than anyone else there and we will also be giving out free pies.
Opening this year’s Imperial Clothing stage are Azriel, who bring their furious metal fused hardcore all the way from across the northern border. Blending raw, crashing vocals with creative riffs and a general passion for what they do, the 5-piece have slowly but surely worked there way up to this point. Consisting of vocalist David Murray, Sean Cosgrove on bass, Andy Robertson and Richard Bremner on guitar and Danny Grant with the sticks, the Scots formed in 2005 and have hit the road tirelessly ever since. Having supported a list of talent that includes Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, Parkway Drive and Gallows, Azriel have the pedigree to set slam dunk alight.