Live review

Billy Talent
Metro, London : 26.8.2003

Billy Talent - Click to enlargeEvery now and again a punk band comes along that changes the rules, a band that twists their influences into shapes that haven't been heard before. At The Drive-In anyone? Maybe AFI? How about At The Drive-In and AFI in a fight with The Dickies? Meet Billy Talent.
    Apparently a buzz band in their native Toronto, Billy Talent have just resurfaced after going to ground to record their major label debut for Atlantic. I've only heard four tracks from it, but these four tracks were enough for me to haul my lazy ass down to the capital to check them out live.

Billy Talent - Click to enlargeEven the most charitable punter wouldn't claim that this was a classic show. Persistent sound problems with Ian D'Sa's guitar amp increasingly agitated vocalist Benjamin Kowalewicz. Maybe it was the pressure of a debut London show, but when the sound problems migrated to his own microphone it quickly ended up buried in the drum kit, along with an accompanying stand. Once John Gallant's bass followed it was game over.

Billy Talent - Click to enlargeA truncated show possibly, but before calling it quits Billy Talent give a few brief glimpses of what they're capable of. Angular At The Drive-In riffs support Kowalewicz's muppet-on-speed stage antics, and all but drummer Aaron Solowoniuk contribute to the yelped, screamed and shouted vocals. Aurally the end result is close to AFI, but far more intense, and far more involving.
    New single Try Honesty is getting radio play in the UK, and the other tracks I've heard - Living In The Shadows, Prisoners Of Today and the fabulous Voices Of Violence - are just as good. My new favourite band? Yeah, I think.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.