The SeeYouSpaceCowboy / Greyhaven / Vatican / Wristmeetrazor tour rolled through NYC last night (11/21) for a show at Brooklyn's Market Hotel, and it was a killer show from start to finish. All of the bands exist somewhere under the metalcore umbrella and go great together, but this was an especially good tour package because no two bands on the bill sounded alike. Each one had their own spin on the genre, and the musical diversity of the bill (and the tightness of all the bands) made the show feel like it flew by.
Things kicked off with Wristmeetrazor, who already seem ready for way bigger crowds and stages. The band -- especially lead singer Justin Fornof -- have the theatrical goth look down to a T and they do it in a way that's really convincing. They look like they stumbled out of a Hot Topic in 2004, and yet it never feels pastiche. Justin not only looked the part, he was also a commanding frontman, and the rest of the band were as tight as can be. Lead riffs cut through the mix like knives, and chugged breakdowns hit you like a punch in the gut. Wristmeetrazor were supporting their excellent new album Replica of a Strange Love (Prosthetic Records), and they played pretty much all the major highlights off that, plus some older stuff too, and the show only reinforced how strong of a record it is. It also showed how much chemistry WMR have. Justin's the clear leader, but the band have three vocalists who all scream and sing, and you could tell how tight-knit they were from the way they traded lines seamlessly.
Up next were Vatican, who are fresh off signing to UNFD and putting out a two-song single, and they've got much more of a meat and potatoes metalcore vibe -- direct, forceful, straight and to the point. With a thick, crisp rhythm section, every note felt like a bludgeoning attack, and vocalist Mike Sugars had the vicious bark needed to compete with the rest of the band's thunder. And though Vatican were largely about blunt force, they did mix things up a bit, incorporating some of the electronic samples that they also use in the studio. Those airy interludes only made the rest of the set hit even harder.
If Vatican's set was the most antagonizing, then Greyhaven's was the most welcoming and accessible -- which is not to say that they didn't kick ass too. They fall somewhere in the realm of Glassjaw, Thrice, and Every Time I Die, with bursts of metalcore that rivaled any of the other bands on the bill, but with way more of a melodic alternative rock vibe than any of the others. They played their new single "All Candy" off their upcoming Will Putney-produced album This Bright and Beautiful World, due April 15 via Equal Vision (pre-order on limited yellow vinyl), which is their most melodic song yet, but they also played another previously unreleased song from the record that started out with kind of a Converge-y vibe, so This Bright and Beautiful World presumably has more surprises in store. They otherwise stuck to material from their 2018 debut LP Empty Black, and they played those songs like a well-oiled machine.
Finally SeeYouSpaceCowboy were up, and though this was a great tour package that had fans going nuts since the start of the first band, it was clear who the headliners were. As soon as they launched into their first song, people rushed the stage to get as close to Connie Sgarbossa as possible, and she was quickly surrounded by a sea of people reaching out towards her and screaming every single world. She delivered it right back, and even though she opened the show by saying she's exhausted from being halfway through tour, you never would've guessed it. Her energy level remained at 110% the entire set. The same was true of the rest of the band, especially Connie's brother Ethan (guitar, backing vocals) and bassist/clean singer Taylor Allen, both of whom swung their instruments and flailed their bodies with athletic execution and never missed a single beat. Ethan and guitarist Timmy Moreno had a locked-in two-guitar attack that delivered a patchwork quilt of panic chords, machine gun chugs, searing leads, clean arpeggios, punchy melodies, and blaring dissonance without ever relying on clichés. The band's multi-person vocal approach was similarly inventive, with back-and-forth screams from Connie and Ethan and satisfying clean-sung hooks from Taylor that always kept you on your toes. (And I didn't have the best view but I'm pretty sure that new drummer AJ Tartol, who was a total powerhouse, got in on the screaming too.) The whole set was absolutely insane both on stage and off, and the crowd really did not want it to end. SYSC had shut off their amps and started walking off stage when the audience demanded one more song, and the band did an encore that I'm pretty sure was actually unplanned, and they somehow went even more nuts during it than they already had.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy's new album The Romance of Affliction is out now on Pure Noise, and you can get it on limited clear/green/yellow splatter vinyl, exclusively in our stores. We've also got the upcoming Greyhaven album on limited yellow vinyl.