Heat 7

The latest round to discover the best local band in the region rolled up for a 4th July LEP supported Battle of the Bands at Preston’s The Venue. This heat saw a distinctly metal flavour, with the big boys of rock aiming for the next round.

The lads from Makers of Venice were an instantly noticeable sensation, their grunge-influenced rock carried off from the first song with a tight confidence, an intense opening riff rolling out through an expansive set. Singer Mark Richards carries a clear vocal, suited to their melodic style whilst using a hint of heavier menace reflecting the balanced set.

Things were not so balanced with Superthrill Temple, whose idiosyncratic manner threw together a subdued psychedelic style with sporadic bursts of heavier, almost thrash metal. What could have grown out of an unusual mix slumped into a wheezing compromise, the uninspiring drums and wayward solos all seemed lazily executed.

Metal troupe 32ft Gauge offered a much better example of a rounded, complete package, almost from the start ripping up the stage and crowd into a messy frenzy with vigour. They too had a touch of the psychedelic about them, growing into a highly competent and confident prospect. Without much restraint at all, Population Four captured the attention with their breathless American-accented onslaught of post-punk emo joyousness, all angst and attitude bundled together in slices of jagged guitars. They were worthy runners up to Makers of Venice