Live Review: Crown Jewel Defense – The Borderline, London – 15/01/13

Tantrum To Blind3_Borderline_15.01Band: Crown Jewel Defense
Support: Octane OK, Tantrum To Blind
Venue: The Borderline, Soho
Date: 15/01/13

Chances are, most music-savvy people will remember Tuesday 15th January 2013 as the day HMV collapsed. A depressing day for the industry, indeed. With that in mind, it’s up to US clan Crown Jewel Defense (yes, with an ‘s’ – they are American remember…) to pick up the musical spirits tonight. A daunting task, but by no means an impossible one.

Swedish pop-punkers Tantrum To Blind are first up to kick the crowd into gear. It’s a shame, though, that the ‘crowd’ so far consists of about 10 people. Even so, it doesn’t stop vocalist Melanie Mohlkert from putting all of her energy into the band’s performance, high-kicking her way through a lively and impressive set. 7/10

Octane OK aren’t blessed with a particularly big audience either, but the rocky riffs of ‘Last Chance’ and arena-suited ‘Survive’ more than compensate for this. “London, I want to see some movement!” bassist Drew Comley yells, only to receive no response whatsoever. It’s a shame, because the band’s cracking mix of rock anthems would go down a storm to a bulkier crowd. It doesn’t matter, though, because we’re sure they’ll be headlining packed out venues such as this on their own in the near future. 9/10

Crown Jewel Defense1_Borderline_15.01

Not many men can pull off full body glitter and glow-in-the-dark animal print leggings, but Crown Jewel Defense frontman Taylor Hood just about manages to. It’s hard to work out if he’s taking himself seriously or not most of the time, but either way, he makes sure he’s the focal point the entire night. Whether that’s a good thing or not is an entirely different matter, with his bizarre bursts into the audience and even more bizarre acoustic rendition of the Backstreet Boys‘ ‘I Want It That Way’ creating an embarrassingly awkward atmosphere. The band’s musical talent unfortunately takes the backseat tonight, as Taylor pauses to pose every time a camera is thrown his way. Maybe if he didn’t do this, Crown Jewel Defense would have much more of an impact. More music and less pouting next time, please. 6/10

Reviewer: Emily Carter

Photographer: Skye Portman

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About Emily Carter