April is an indication that festival season has begun. The sun starts to emerge, bands Instagram pictures of themselves in sunglasses and music fans get hyped. Hit the Deck marks the beginning of this period and this year, the day-long festival has delivered a more metal and hardcore, rock line-up.
Monarks open up the Academy 2. They’re young but this is disguised by their song-writing ability and tightness as a band. With glimpses of Twin Atlantic and The Xcerts blended into their songs, the four-piece have a promising future ahead of them.
Over at the Fleece, Brawlers put their energetic, scratchy pop punk to good use and wake up the early attendees. They throw out the favourites from Instagram Famous – I am a Worthless Piece of Shit to Romantic Errors of Our Youth and by the end have the undivided attention and whole participation of the crowd.
Hundredth are the perfect preparation band for the commencing line up following them in the Academy. Their combination of melodic instrumentals and hardcore-esque vocals give them an original edge and their callous energy is more than enough to stick around for.
Decade take to the stage in Thekla, providing a poppier option for fans. Their performance is consistently good, filled continuously catchy choruses, echoing sing-alongs and humbling banter. They’re popular, other bands like them and this set completely justifies that.
The crowd remain thin back at the Academy, but this doesn’t prevent Monuments from impressing. With singer Chris Barretto having previously sung for Periphery, it’s no wonder that their sound is flawless throughout.
The venue rapidly fills for Cancer Bats and unsurprisingly so. With newly released album, Searching for Zero now under their belts, it’s difficult to condense their songs into a shorter set list but an even balance of new/old from Satellites to Bricks and Mortar keeps the crowd on their toes and of course, the incredible rendition of Sabotage initiates the largest pit of the set.
Three-piece The Xcerts prove that the Scottish still do rock the best. The Academy 2 seems unfitting for how anthemic and layered their music is. Pop Song drives the dance moves out of fans whereas sheer passion is represented in I Don’t Care. The Xcerts are truly incredible and worthy of so much more success.
In a contrasting sound, While She Sleeps bring the metal back. The vigorous nature of both their songs and performances are mirrored onto the crowd who are naturally worshipping every word sung by singer, Jordan Widdowson. The venue fills completely for sleeps and it’s a wonder why Hit the Deck haven’t placed them as headliners.
That is until Skindred take to the stage. Their triumphant and mighty opening complete with war drones smoothly transitions into Kill the Power with crowd favourites like Pressure and Ratrace thrown in early too, meaning pits from the offset.
Frontman, Benji’s warming personality juxtaposed with aggression is entertaining and the bands enthusiasm throughout the entirety is admirable. Skindred are almost representative of the entire festival line up, enveloping the pop elements in Nobody and the more metal sounds in Proceed With Caution, closing the festival in the perfect way.