Let’s be honest, with the exception of grime, there are few genres around making any sort of noise about the state of the world in 2018: the old indie icons spend too much time now talking about themselves, their kids, and how much money they have, whilst the EDM’s and the ‘popstars’ enjoy acting like they’re gangsters when, in fact, they’re middle-class kids with history degrees and a love of posting irrelevant Instagram selfies; let’s not get started on the overpriced Stones, but wasn’t music supposed to fire our imaginations and make us fight in the streets for causes we believe in?
Hitting the stage with ‘Out of Control’, North East punksters Chaos 8 show that there is still some resistance if you know where to look. Creating a big sod-off noise, ‘Out of Control’ is the perfect antidote to the ‘I fancy your mum’ pop-punk Schleck or Xerox copies of the old punk standards. Crunching noises and strong synth production combine to make the overall architecture of the track reminiscent of digitalised electro punk – think ‘XTRMNTR’-era Primal Scream – and it’s one ambitious record and one hell of a way to start the show.
The sound of the evening is pushed further with standouts ‘Chemical Reaction’, ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘4 Minutes’ which bring back memories of not just the Scream but also PiL, Suicide and Gang of Four; this is the sound of punk-rock looking for new ways to connect.
Yet it’s not just the sounds which are impressive as equally inspiring are tonight’s messages. ‘Sugarcoated Anarchy’ and ‘What Have You Become’ become amped up mediations not just on the state of the world, but also on the world’s ability to have normalised corporate greed, media manipulation and government corruption.
With intense delivery, creative sounds and thought-provoking messages, there are many things Chaos 8 could be accused of and subtlety is not one of them, but making damn fine, progressive, punk is though.