Shields Up (4 stars)

Shields Up

Bar Bloc, Glasgow, Thu 29 Oct

Bloc has never seemed liked the most conventional setting for live music. Its close-knit tables and chairs obscure most of the floor, making it awkward to view – to say the least – and even more so to play. However, there’s an odd charm to being packed into such tight surroundings, especially here in Bloc tonight, where most of those in attendance, bar the unsuspecting diners, are all here specifically for the music (and, of course, cheap booze) and waste no time packing themselves into any available crevice before Shields Up take to the floor.

The term Edinburgh Hardcore may also seem, at first, to defy convention, but the confidence and energy of these five fellas quickly serves to assert themselves as a brutal force in their own right; one that could easily stand tall alongside their many US counterparts. Tonight’s set, comprised largely of cuts from the band’s eponymous debut album, is delivered with biting precision, allowing every searing riff, blistering drumbeat and each scream, howl or chant to tear a hole in the small space they are afforded here this evening.

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