Love them or hate them, The Hell couldn’t give two shits. Brash and vulgar with a fondness for facial bandanas that borders on the fetish, this Watford sextet decided to stuff our stockings this festive season by paying a visit to Cardiff’s Fuel Bar.
Now, it’s hard to enter a show like this without having a bit of scepticism about the headline act and what it says about their support. However, when Cardiff electro-hardcore trio Nightlives  open with their brand of chest-thumping digitised beats with head banging riffs, they immediately grasp our attention. Filling a small space with a big sound is never an easy job, let alone when it’s your second ever show. This is the perfect environment that lead vocalist and electronics maestro Dafydd ‘Taf’ Richards executes rather well. Taking clear influences from The One Hundred and Enter Shikari, this trio (fourth member bassist Tomas Morgan not present), aren’t by any means breaking any boundaries, but hold their own on the stage. Maybe a bit too mechanical for some, rest assured, Nightlives will get any party going. Watch this space.
Photo Credit: Menai Richards Photography
Sub-headliners and fellow Cardiffian hardcore outfit Constructor  are monsters. Pure, unadulterated, hardcore monsters. With hooks that seem to leak out of every orifice, the floor becomes a battle ground, pitting the band against the audience in a sonic bombardment. Beefy until the very end, the five-piece tore Fuel asunder. With faces teetering on smashing into the walls, the band have been a drummer down for the past few weeks. Though the drum stool had been filled temporarily, the energy was kept high all the way throughout, without ever missing a beat. With the intimidating presence of vocalist Ben Bateman Jones, the thought of a new EP early next year sends shivers up the spine. Without a doubt one of the capitols most exciting live acts.
Without any further ado, The Hell [8.5] are a band that have to be experienced to be believed. For a pissing-wet Thursday night, The Hell provide the tunes that just make you want to throw your middle finger in the air and depart with all your precious, hard earned fucks. One debate about this Watford outfit will always surround them, are they considered a comedy band? It’s a fine line they tread, but ultimately no. The ‘fuck you and everything you stand for and your nan’ attitude is ridiculous, but comedy it ain’t. By taking themselves less than seriously by satirically imitating both metal and hardcore worlds, a lot can go wrong. However, the six-piece, with ludicrous stage names and all (NAIL$, vocals; BLACK MI$T, vocals/guitar; NICE GUY, vocals; JACKHAMMER, drums; EARLY MAN, bass; BAD TEMPA, guitar), have this down, making for a kick ass and enjoyable set. Worlds apart from their studio albums, seeing the band live becomes clearer about their about. The music translates considerably easier without the overwhelming sense of being a simple gimmick. We weren’t looking for the next big thing, or to scrutinise, just a good time, which they delivered by the bucket load. 2016 has been without a doubt a shit year for wankers, so to let off steam in this way was a relief. Mosh pit after mosh pit, tune after tune, say what you will about The Hell are, and forgive the pun, one hell of a fun band.