Ghost Town, Palisades, Ashestoangels @ Manchester Sound Control

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Ghost Town Band Promo Photo

Ghost Town have got a lot of hype around them at the moment – with airplay on Kerrang TV and with the big magazines starting to take an interest in them. Their recent tour with Palisades sounded intriguing, so Rock Sins went along to check out the action. We even got the bonus of Kerrang Magazine favourites Ashestoangels as a last minute opener before they went off to America.

Opening the proceedings as mentioned, Ashestoangels (7), are in many ways the sore thumb of the lineup. Not only do they have a standout look,  but their music is fairly removed from both Palisades and Ghost Town, too. Whilst the later two bands play with ultra modern, post-Issues metalcore soundscapes, ATA are something of a throwback band, dealing in slightly synthy, gothic punk rock. Among the crowd who’ve arrived early are a few rows of dedicated fans, who sing and point along to every word from the start. Midway through, frontman Crilly initiates a “hug pit” which  – though slightly gimicky – goes over well with the bands fans. The music may not be to the entire crowds tastes but AshestoAngels exhibit a confidence and exciting stage presence that draws everyone in.

Next up is Palisades (7). Coming out to “U Mad,” a track by upcoming hip hop star Vic Mensa, the band set out their stall early. Unlike many metal bands who incorporate dance and hip hop elements in their music, Palisades demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the genres and intertwine the heavy and the synthy flawlessly. The crowd isn’t entirely won over however; in fact, they get less people dancing along than the openers managed. A highlight of their performance comes in the form of “Mind Games,” which features an punchy dance break that does manage to get the whole crowd on their feet.

Ghost Town (6) finish the night off with less of a spark and more of a splutter. Though occasionally catchy in parts, the set gets off to a troubled start when something goes wrong behind the scenes, causing the band to emerge to a half working performance of “Spark.”. Despite this, frontman Kevin “Ghost” McCullough shines through offering the crowd a lifeline with a beaming smile and a genuine enthusiasm to be able to play his music to an English crowd. Things look better from then on in, with performances of “Monster” and an acoustic version of “Game Freak” being particular highlights for the mostly young crowd, though the inclusion of a drum solo is a questionable decision in the already overlong set. The biggest problem with Ghost Town is that none of the music feels at all original, in fact most of the songs tend to blend into one another in the twentyish song set.

It’s easy to see why Ghost Town are playing venues of this size, but unless they manage to produce something more unique on future releases, it’s hard to imagine where they’ll go from here. Palisades, on the other hand, are one to watch; they blend metal and dance better than anyone and, with a bit of work on the live performance, could easily be headlining this venue themselves soon.

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