How does a young band get noticed these days? Battling against the flood of self -promotion on the internet, their music must speak louder than words alone. Written in black and yellow and armed with a sting, Hornet, tonight, is proof of that.
In association with SED Records and Mean Fiddler, this is a Let’s Get London Rocking event. When Joe Thompson, vocals, picks up the mic and roars “We are Hornet and we play rock and roll,” the small crowd is braced to do just that. They launch into “Down to the Bone”, an attack of a song laced with heavy rock punk riffs that threatens to “suck you dry, strip you bare”. With the unsophisticated charm of lyrics such as those, the band delivers a raw punch that is unrelenting throughout the entirety of their hour long set. It continues into “Outta Control”, which offers the hint of bluesy rock riffs akin to the Aussie twang of Airbourne and nostalgic AC/DC. Live, the music is high energy, jump about stuff, but there is a sense of seriousness in their performance which could be shaped by their determination to succeed at all costs. They seem a little green and need to get meaner to mould a more convincing and comfortable stage presence.
That said, their music does speak louder than words. Joe’s gnarly, growling vocal range is consistently at the same level, branding similarities in every song, but it is powerful, and songs like “Sweet Lips” are delivered in true punk rock style. Hornet’s committed crowd loves the walkabout when Joe carries the wily guitarist, Tollef Rikje-Pearson, high on his shoulders through the pit. Along with Alex Burt on drums, both Tollef and bassist, Max Thompson, are crafting their showmanship with memorable signature solos in songs such as “Second Hand Smoke”, a track of heavy, dirty rock at its most monstrous, which is sure to become an obvious hit. Indeed, I didn’t want this one to end!
It is clear, however, that this band works hard and then works harder. Getting their debut album launched is a big deal and tonight, we are invited to make this happen by joining their Pledge Music campaign, whereby a substantial donation to Macmillan Cancer Support will be made if they reach their goal. Hornet is sure to incite an infestation someday and deserves the chance to buzz louder.
This review is also available at www.stereoboard.com