alice-berkeley
16th February 2018

Live review: Inheaven

Inheaven bring both smooth melodies and violent mosh pits to Deaf Institute
Live review: Inheaven
Photo: Alice Berkeley

Inheaven have become a staple in the music libraries of the glitter-covered and Doc Marten-ed indie kids of today. When they walk onto the rose-adorned stage at Deaf Institute they certainly look the part: lead singer James Taylor wears a glittery top, and bassist and vocalist Chloe Little looks ready to kill in a skull and crossbones t-shirt and red vinyl trousers and boots.

The set starts with ‘Bitter Town’, a sing-along track anthem for disaffected youth incarcerated in towns “made of plastic”, followed by ‘Stupid Things’, with its Springsteen-esque guitars. But the set doesn’t truly start, or at least the crowd are not truly on board, until they hear the ominous bass of ‘Baby’s Alright’. The track kick-starts the violent mosh pit that will continue for the rest of the set, even during quieter songs. Little reciprocates with high leg kicks and enthusiastically mouths along to the lyrics.

Their choruses tend to be repetitive, but echo the frustration that pervades their music. This is most blatant in ‘World on Fire’. The power of the track comes through not just in the vicious drum beats and grungy guitars, but also through the Trump-blasting lyrics: “he’ll build a wall and kill them all”. Little half sings, half talks the verses with unsettling calmness, building up tension until the ferocious riff that accompanies the chorus breaks over the crowd’s heads as Taylor commands a circle pit. She also owns the stage during 90s inspired crowd favourite ‘Treats’, smiling down at the crowd.

Inheaven appeared on the indie scene in 2015 and released their self-titled debut album in September 2017 on Julian Casablancas’ record label CULT. Mellow dream pop track ‘Velvet’, the last track on the album, breaks the intensity of the set, as does new song ‘Sweet Dreams Baby’, with floaty guitars and smooth melodies that should calm the crowd, but just make them more excitable.

They close the set with ‘Regeneration’, the first song they released. It is well loved by fans and epitomises their music: relatable indie pop with a bite and a dash of angst. “I’m bored of my generation, is this my generation?” Chloe Little’s silky backing vocals complement the grating chorus and work the audience into a hysteria that reaches its peak when Taylor crowdsurfs, wielding his guitar. Inheaven leave the stage, leaving the audience sweaty, bruised and wanting more.

8/10


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