Vein – Green Door Store, Brighton – 22nd February 2019

VeinFollowing the release of their phenomenal debut album Errorzone, the hardcore five-piece known as Vein are a band that I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for. Their Code Orange-influenced style of furious hardcore, electronic distortion and other elements definitely had my attention and praise to the point where I would regard their debut record as one of 2018’s best albums. Therefore, I was very pleased to find out that Vein would cross paths with the people of Brighton at their Green Door Store show, with support from Higher Power and Narrow Head.

Given Vein’s ultra-hyper hardcore sound, Green Door Store really took every precaution to make sure that this gig was as safe as possible. There were several notices asking that fans “respect the venue, the vibe and especially each other”. This came as a reassuring sign but also an exciting one, as the venue was certainly aware of the incredible carnage that this line-up was going to bring.

The gig was completely sold out and this definitely showed, with many people marking their spot in the crowd before the opening set from Narrow Head. It was clear that this was a show worth coming to early.

Narrow Head blended a fittingly heavy musical style with more ambient, echoing vocals which felt aesthetically similar to a lot of grunge bands from the early days. In the same style as Vein, there is a mixture of essential hardcore screams and the same kind of melodic vocals. In that sense, I could definitely see why this band were supporting them as the opening act. They certainly got things off to a great start as well, with all of their songs making for some great headbanging material.

Up next was Higher Power, and I could tell just from the sound check that things were about to ramp up. They seemed to be highly anticipated and praised by fans, a lot of which were really engaged with their performance. I was especially a fan of the powerful vocals, which reminded a fair bit of Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats. It was an awesome and adrenaline-fuelled set that proved to be one hell of a build up for Vein.

Things spontaneously went into full overdrive once Vein’s set began, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. All of the elements going into Vein’s recorded music that made it such a treat to listen to were even more noticeable live. It was clear that total chaos followed the band to Brighton, with the sheer intensity of the music possessing the audience. The sweat and the heat was fanned only by the windmill-like movements created by heavily engaged fans. I was loving every second of it.

The set was essentially a shuffle of all of their Errorzone hits, with the final track being the brilliant ‘Virus://Vibrance’ which came as one last explosion of a live track before the set came to a close.

I do tend to favour the heavier gigs found in Brighton, and this evening proved to be a big part of the reason why. It’s that unmatched, unrivalled sense of thrill that makes gigs like these so amazing, and I am glad to say that I can now add this live show from Vein to that collection.

Joe Boothby