Your Favorite Enemies at The Water Rats – 21/10/13 Live Review

October 22, 2013 2:57 pm

Yesterday (Monday 21st October 2013) was not a good day for trains. There were delays all over London and I knew as soon as I heard about this situation that it would not bode well for me. I had a gig to get to and an interview to conduct, delays had not featured in my plans.

Your Favourite EnemiesWhen the time came to set off on my journey to Kings Cross, my friend and I frantically raced to the station so as not to miss the only train that would get us where we wanted to be by the time we needed to be there. Unfortunately this was not the case and we ended up missing the time that had been allocated for interviewing the band by about forty minutes. This was not a good start to the evening but on the other hand I knew that was not the only writer that had been sent to this gig and so I didn’t worry too much, knowing that my fellow MoonProject partners were probably conducting their interviews as we made our way to the venue. The Water Rats on 328 Grays Inn Road was a part bar part theatre joint that separated into two halves. On entering we walked through the half packed bar to the other side of the room and up to a big wooden door that lead into the performance area. After assuring the bored looking girl who was tending the door that I was indeed on the list we had our wrists stamped and were granted entry and made our way to the stage just in time to see the final few songs of the warm up act.

Who they were I couldn’t say but their music was heavy and for a three piece they did well to create a buzzing atmosphere in such a small area. After they had left the stage there was a short five or ten minute interval before Your Favorite Enemies appeared on stage. Their entrance was at best minimal and at worst they didn’t exactly appear up for the gig. Comprised of six members they managed to pack out the tiny stage well enough but it wasn’t exactly with what I would describe as a “presence” but more for the fact that there were so many of them all cramped in on a tiny stage. Before they started playing my friend popped next door into the bar to grab us some beer before they began playing and what he returned with was two pints of some strange cocktail, one part Budweiser three parts water. Sadly this set the tone for the rest of the gig, the first song to be played was A View From Within, a sonically challenged melody which sounded like the love child of The Rasmus and Innerpartysystem that, apart from brief breaks in the tempo of the song never really changed much and if I’m being overly critical was quite frankly extremely generic and boring. Your Favourite Enemies

Next up was Where Did We Lose Each Other. After the first minute or so of this song I began to start noticing a pattern emerging that I couldn’t quite work out at first. After dwelling on this for a while I then noticed that the lyrics being sung had switched from English to French, quite smoothly I might add. Being from Montreal, Canada this wasn’t really a surprise and in fact actually added something to a song that was very much another generic pop-punk hybrid. It was at this point I began to slow my drinking, I felt as if had I carried on at the speed I was going, it was going to become harder and harder to see where one song finished and another began. The next song to be played to us was Open Your Eyes and as it begun, I was instantly reminded of the sounds of bands like Paramore, simplistic chord progressions and semi-heavy hooks that lead on to a somewhat catchy chorus. But this was not a Paramore gig and watching another band so easily pull off a song that could be included in Haley Williams and crew’s discography did not bode well for my opinions of either band. I started wondering to myself whether this was as good as it was going to get? And it turns out it was.

I Just Want You To Know was next on the set list and with it came more generic guitar riffs based more on the amount of peddles that could be turned on at once than any actual decent riffs. The drumming could have been from any of the previous songs and I started to realise what the pattern was that I had began to notice, the songs all sounded the same! My expectations going in to this gig had been nil and even that wasn’t low enough, the blandness of the set list did nothing towards making you want to hear the next song and in fact just made it easy to guess what the next song would sound like. The final song of evening came in the form of From The City To The Ocean, more overkill guitar effects dominated the audio nerves of everyone around and boring lyrics nearly sent me to sleep. This song was noticeably slower than the others we had heard and this only served to bore me even more as I began to wish it was over as soon as it had started. Your Favourite Enemies

I have been to a fair few gigs and seen a variety of bands, both good and bad and nearly all of them had redeeming qualities regardless of my personal opinion of them. This was not the case for Your Favorite Enemies. Having formed in 2006 and with already five albums under their belt, it is hard for me to understand how a band like this could have survived for so long. Perhaps I am being unfair in my judgements of them but I say as I see it and this is a band I hope I do not see again. The type of band that probably sound better live than they do in a studio, the type of band you hope your impressionable fourteen year old doesn’t stumble over. In fact the only two redeeming qualities of the entire evening were the fact that I was sent here to write about it and thus did not pay to get in and the fact that I was given a free dessert at Nando’s afterwards. If you’re into bands that have a subtle emo vibe mixed with every other song featuring feedback and distortion rather than riffs then this is the band for you. Anyone else would probably do well to avoid them.

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