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Kerrang!: The Wonder Years, Framing Hanley, Four Year Strong, and Good Charlotte

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Good CharlotteThis Month was the annual Kerrang Energy Drink Tour. While Kerrang started off as Hard Rock/Metal magazine, it now covers pretty much any kind of Rock that isn’t Indie and this year’s line-up reflected a fairly decent mix of different genres and styles. After winning free tickets on Southampton University’s own Surge Radio I went with my friend to check out what bands the kid’s are listening to these days.

First up were The Wonder Years, who follow the old pop-punk/emo tradition of making a pop-culture references their fans are surely too young to understand (see: Fall-Out Boy). Personally I felt like I’d heard it before a bit, but it definitely got all the drunken fourteen-year olds moshing and jumping around like crazy, which makes them cool in my book. Framing Hanley opened with a rocked up rendition of Lil Wayne’s hit ‘Lollipop’, turned out to be quite an appropriate introduction for the rest of their set. Like Weezy himself Framing Hanley have charisma, presence and plenty of swagger, and unlike Weezy can actually sing pretty well, making for an energetic set. Four Year Strong are part of the new wave of American bands that combine pop-punk hooks and upbeat lyrics with hardcore style breakdowns, which is the musical equivalent of a peanut butter and jam sandwich. By far and away the heaviest band on the bill, their set was bruising, beer soaked and fun, as good hardcore should always be.

The words ‘Punk-Rock’ tend to be thrown around a lot in relation to Good Charlotte, and the influence is definitely there (note how card ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous’ has a similar introduction to Iggy Pop’s infamous ‘Lust For Life’ for instance), but in truth they’re a good old-fashioned pop band, as their performance proved. Sing-along choruses and clapping friendly bridges abounded, and the Madden brothers were near both never shy to tell the audience to tell the audience to ‘go crazy’ or something similar. The fact that the songs were definitely biased towards the older material was slightly odd when you consider most of the audience were probably still in their primary school when The Young and the Hopeless came out, but that’s just a testament to this bands ability to write great rock songs. Kerrang! should definitely count this year as a success.

 

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