23rd February 2016
Review by Soozi Chameleone
Amidst a tour with Funeral for a Friend, as their main support act for their farewell tour, tonight Zoax have taken things down a step or two and welcomed fans and media alike to join them and melodic alt-metal four-piece Acoda for an intimate evening at The Black Heart in Camden.
Hailing from Northampton and with an impeccably impressive presentation of progressive, melodic and adventurous metal, Acoda manage to refresh a potentially tired sound. Through precision, experimental time signatures complimented with straight forward riffs and relentlessly strong vocals from all members of the band, Acoda captivate and coerce the crowd with absolute ease and a humble presence that has no air of arrogance, an attitude that could be a little forgiven for a band with such an immense amount of talent between them.
Once Zoax clamber on to sage, however, the atmosphere alters. Aside from the audience evidently consisting of utterly devoted fans, frontman Adam Carroll and the rest of this rock solid band of highly well seasoned musicians not only bring a respectable level of expertise to any stage, they can also light it up with humour, fun and a general air of (dare I say it) ‘YOLO’ attitude. Adam effortlessly ensures we are putty in his hands from the very beginning of the show, when he silences the whole room with a wide-eyed stare and a finger on his lips, then with a double clap of his hands almost magically sets the band alight as they catapult into their first number.
Post hardcore had become a little tired during the early part of this decade and it went from being the absolute flavour of the month to…not so favoured. Zoax have managed to bring the genre to favour again, possibly by stepping away from the label and simply vowing to create something fresh and invigorating in an otherwise stale music scene. Tonight we witness Jekyll and Hyde style switches between clean and dirty/ disjointed effects and structures (and not just on their song of the same name!), playful patterns and pitch alterations with plenty of risk taking that was always pulled off, funky basslines, a hyperactive amount of energy and groove that could not be controlled. Something that shouldn’t go unmentioned is the unstoppable amount of banter as conducted by frontman Adam, in the form of stealing drinks from the audience, mingling with them at any time he fancied, dishing out life lessons, informing us of National Toast Day and generally cracking jokes.
Zoax have just released their second EP entitled ‘Is Everybody Listening?’ and we are treated to some of it towards the end of tonight. A maturity and an essence of a slightly more sombre tone of mood can be felt, which isn’t to say their new material is any less enjoyable. If anything, it embodies even more depth and emotive opportunities, without failing to get you moving and shaking every part of your being. Tonight was an incredible way to experience what Zoax is all about; intimately, up close and unwaivering on levels of vibrant energy.