LIVE REVIEW: Superjoint, Battlecross, Child Bite, + Warbeast – 1/14/17 @ The Rail Club, Fort Worth, TX

It was an exemplary night of metal at the Rail Club as Superjoint came through on the third stop of their current US tour. Bringing along a pair of Michiganders, Battlecross and Child Bite, and the addition of DFWs own Warbeast and Driven Below, Superjoint made Saturday night a reminder that metal is alive and well in north Texas. When I arrived at the Rail Club at 8:30 there was a line 50 or more people deep winding around the club. Consequently, I missed Driven Below’s set as I waited in an incredibly slow moving line (a friend of mine missed Warbeasts set while waiting in line for more than half an hour). Inside, the club was packed, but surprisingly I never waited more than a minute to get drink at the bar. I expected a mad house and overworked staff, but the Rail Club was perfectly prepared for the evening (aside from that line situation).

Warbeast played a half-hour set of new material from their forthcoming 2017 album. New tracks like “Maze of the Minotaur,” “Centuries of Poisoned Soil,” and “The Hitchhiker” have that patented Warbeast swagger, but sound fresh rather than just status-quo. Doubtless, I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating the new release. I was surprised that the crowd was somewhat calm during the majority of Warbeast’s set, but by the last two or three songs the pit was churning.

Child Bite was up next and they brought their A-game with them, mostly in the form of their manic front man. Unhinged, relentless, and incredibly physical, Child Bite is a can’t-miss live band. I was previously unfamiliar with the noise rock unit, but after their set they immediately were added to my to-do list. Battlecross followed and maintained the crowds energy. Another high-energy live band, Battlecross is one of the most consistently great touring acts around. I think their choreographed long-haired head-banging is a little silly, but they deliver the goods. If the bodies flying around the Rail Club were any indication, this was already a great evening and the headliners haven’t even played.

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Superjoint went on somewhere around 11:45pm and instigated an endless pit that kept everyone in its vicinity on their toes. Anselmo furiously lead his band through a set covering their three studio albums, though Caught Up in the Gears of Application (released November 2016), received a lot of attention. The band fired through their set like a rabid dog after a wounded animal. They play both like seasoned veterans and a hungry young band promoting their latest release. Anselmo’s voice was in top form, as was his band. Drummer Joey Gonzalez played two sets on this night (he’s also Warbeast’s drummer), offering something of a mini-showcase for this talented musician. He was in lockstep rhythm with Superjoint bassist Stephen Taylor, while guitarists Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond played with a desperate intensity. The energy in the room was palpable. The crowd fed off the intensity of the band as circle pits were unstoppable, beer was flying, and more than a few folks ran for cover.

We recommend seeing Superjoint, Battlecross, and Child Bite on this current tour. Each band delivers powerful, high-energy performances that serve as a reminder of the vitality found in giving zero fucks. If you’re feeling the need to let off some steam, this bill is exactly what you need.

– J. Kevin Lynch


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