By Lauryn Embleton

The general response I got from people on Friday night after mentioning I had been to see ’68 at Audio was: “No way- you went to that? I was totally meaning to!” Not good enough Brighton, not good enough. After seeing the Atlanta based duo back in August, I have unashamedly been listening to their debut In Humour and Sadness on repeat, and had this gig scrawled in my diary for months prior.  The former Norma Jean and The Chariot vocalist Josh Scogin’s new project with drummer Michael McClellan appears to have been received incredibly well by fans and critics alike. So where were all you people, huh?

We arrived toward the end of Ragweed’s set, and immediately wished we could have caught more. The Brighton band delivered some immensely sludgy punk that has placed them high on my radar for local bands in 2015. Following them were ‘68’s tour buddies, Trophy Scars. Slightly more atmospheric post-hardcore, Trophy Scars almost psychedelic sounds were slightly marred by what we agreed was some off-sound engineering. Listening to them now on Spotify, I can really hear the huge breadth of vocal ability and underlying melodies.

Headliners ’68 then took their places opposing each other in front of the intimate crowd. Convoluted compositions, fuzzy feedback and Cobain-esque vocals- Scogin dominated the stage. The set felt spontaneous, but it’s that informality paired with the high energy and ferociousness that makes the duo so special. Track 1 and Track 4 stand out as their best, although Scogin’s haunting vocals were let down by poor engineering, and his admission that his guitar had been out of tune most of the set.

So what have we learnt, Brighton? We can complain all we want about the city’s dying alternative music scene, but it is in fact rife with great gigs every night of the week- it’s our responsibility to show support and turn up at shows like this.


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