RXPTRS // Prey Drive // Drip-Fed Empire // Summits
The Crofters Rights, Bristol // Monday 6th August 2018
Returning to The Croft (or Crofters Rights as it’s now called) after several years is like a breath of fresh air away from the usual gig spots. The venue’s upgraded bar space adds to the atmosphere of the now, slightly smaller function room. Bristol’s newest upcoming rock band, RXPTRS are at the closing of their short UK tour with Norwich’s Prey Drive, and as the final date of said tour, there is no better way to finish than with a sold-out hometown show for them to prove their worth in not only their local scene, but so they can leave an impression as an artist able to punish and push boundaries on cities and towns they venture to afterwards.
Newly hitting the scene and opening the night is Weston-Super Mare’s very own Summits, showcasing their take on the metalcore-hardcore genres. Summoning a decent crowd from such early on is impressive. The band demand crowd action which fortunately is given after a brutal take on Cancer Bat’s ‘Hail Destroyer’ cover. Vocalist Elliot Harrison dives into the crowd switching between screams and cleans with ease, but tells his audience not to hardcore dance during their set – despite his band playing many a breakdown between their songs. Whilst somewhat amateur in stage presence, it’s still an exceptional set for a band so early on in their path.
Drip-Fed Empire pick up any lost ground from the opening act as the room begins to pack out even more for their electrifying set. Each member dressed unique either with masks, black bodypaint, and even a bullet proof vest. The best way to describe Drip-Fed’s genre is to imagine Linkin Park, Rammstein and some old school Enter Shikari locked into a room and forced to make noise. The band’s initial sound heavily relies on the digital scale, using massive drops and breakdowns with plenty of ferocious screaming layered well on top. They’re unique to the Bristol scene, and playing to a full room at The Croft is exactly what they needed to grapple in new fans as well as keeping older fans enlightened.
RXPTRS’ touring band Prey Drive unfortunately loose many interested attendees during the beginning of their set as the room is half the capacity of the previous act. This is disappointing and gutting for the band, but the reason is probably behind the fact they play softer music than any other acts on the lineup. Despite the lack of spectators, Prey Drive still gave it their all, showcasing their post-harcore nature with superb stage presence and the right attitude for a touring band. Often reminding me of Circa Survive, vocalist Brad Smith has a mesmerising voice luring in the remaining people watching. ‘Pancakes’ ends their set on a high as I doubt this is the last time you’ll hear of Prey Drive coming to a city like Bristol.
Quickly after Prey Drive’s set, the room begins to refill even before RXPTRS embrace the stage. There’s a giant banner with the band’s signature X written on it, the time has come for RXPTRS to prove themselves to their home city. Opening the show with two brand new tracks that are surprisingly the band’s heaviest material to date. The full room is lively, fuelled by either the catchy choruses or the frantic screams from vocalist Simon Roach. If there isn’t moshing or crowd surfing then everybody is dancing to songs, such as the incredibly memorable ‘Bound’, or newly released ‘Parasites’. Each member is having a blast, and the relationship between them all is noticeable as you can tell how proud they are, not only of themselves but from the packed room engaging with them constantly. With only two songs released from the new Bristol act, it was obvious a cover or two would be thrown into the mix. SOAD’s ‘Aerials’ and Rise Against’s ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ go down a storm as many attendee know the lyrics and are yelling them back. With the persona of Nothing More, and the swagger of Billy Talent – RXPTRS may be a new band on the scene, but have already toured the UK twice and are now selling out a hometown headline show, things are looking bright for these Bristol hard rockers.