Rival State


When Rival State relocated from New Zealand to London this year, The Black Heart in Camden was the very first venue they played at and so it was a return to the venue for the band to kick off their ‘Youth Tax’ EP UK Tour last night.

Luke (Vocals), Nimal (Guitar), Jo (Guitar), Stef (Bass) and Valdi (Drums) took to the stage with just minimum lighting which made for a completely atmospheric start to their set, you could feel the anticipation of the crowd there tonight waiting for the very first note and the band certainly didn’t disappoint.

Straight into their latest single ‘Sleep Talker’ it was a massive sound of huge riffs from the outset. Fast paced gritty guitars over monster drum beats with an addictive bass line, as soon as the vocals started the crowd went wild. Live this track is just a full on assault of rock and with Luke taking to the floor mid track in front of the crowd, the band put on a truly energetic performance from the very first song.

Next up was ‘Aces’ which again has killer guitar riffs from the start, the drums resounding around the venue, the bass pounding through the speakers before the melodic vocals slightly softer on the verses rises to a wall of sound featuring high octane rock on the chorus. Playing to a background of visually stunning lights, the whole song just sounds awesome live.

‘Four Leaf Clover’ starts with a dirty guitar riff with a grooving rhythm section and is a monster of an anthem, the guitars with their crashing riffs really standing out on this song live. A foot stomper of a song with its thumping rhythm section got the crowd going even more with arms aloft and punching the air.

Following with ‘Scarlet Fever’ with its guitar solo grabbing your attention from the very first note, a more slightly slower pace with the vocals but the band putting on an epic performance with a more dirty sounding blues sound with this song.

‘Sisters Of The Fate’ is perfect for a live show, thunderous drums behind a gritty guitar riff, this huge anthem of a song was full of rock vocals from the very start, with a chorus that you can’t stand still to, it was a pure fist-pounding monster of a rock song.

A new song ‘Gutter Mouth’ was the next song and once again this was an enormous riff-fuelled rock song, proving that Rival State are here to show us Brits in the UK how rock should be done.

The final song of the set was ‘Taking Our Time’ which again opened with thumping drums and a gritty rhythm section, before the vocals that were a mixture of both full on rock of epic proportions and a slightly more slower melodic sound flowed thought the track.

Rival State tonight proved that rock is very much alive and well and having put on an electrifying set throughout their songs, this is the band to see live as rock music doesn’t get any better than this.

Don’t miss out on seeing Rival State on their remaining UK Dates for this month:

Oct 23 Rock City, Nottingham
Oct 24 Think Tank, Newcastle
Oct 25 Glasgow Garage, Glasgow
Oct 27 Sound Control, Manchester
Oct 28 The Flapper, Birmingham
Oct 29 The Horn, St Albans
Oct 30 The Joiners, Southampton
Oct 31 Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
Nov 01 Nightmare Festival, Camden Town