The UK’s favourite touring festival for all things pop punk, ska, hardcore and alt-rock is nearly here, and with it come a lot of bands to pick from. With seven stages to choose from, Slam Dunk ’17 is a smorgasbord of musical talent but, as with all festivals, there are going to be clashes. Here are our top picks from each stage to hopefully help with that all-important last minute scheduling!
Rock Sound Breakout Stage
New to Slam Dunk Festival are south Wales alt-rock band Casey. Their debut album Love Is Not Enough is a personal venting of the anxieties that often come attached with romance, reaching a new level of relatable. Vocals that blend screams and poetic discourse unveil a sound akin to artists like La Dispute. As one of the festival’s newbies, this is the perfect chance to check them out.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Stray From The Path are going to put on a hell of a show in Hatfield. Hailing from Long Island, New York, expect a set full with riff heavy barrages and hardcore flavoured, anti-establishment themed lyrics. Their 2015 release, Subliminal Criminals was a cathartic exploration of injustice; with the current political state of America you should expect their performance to be an explosive display.
Signature Brew Stage
The Signature Brew Stage has everything post-punk and emo fans could ask for. Whilst we don’t think you can go wrong with catching any of the bands playing a hands down must see will Sorority Noise. With the recent release of their new album, You’re Not As ____ As You Think, this four piece from Hartford, Connecticut, offers blistering and often uncomfortably raw ballads that will hit home with any twenty-something. If you’re a fan of the recent trend of ‘emo revival’ bands in the same vein as Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms then you’ll be right at home.
The Key Club Stage
Need a hearty dose of pop punk? Look no further than Seaway. The Ontario based punkers manage to capture the essence of the genre whilst also offering some versatility within their sound, opening themselves up to all audiences. Catchy choruses and wailing riffs that echo back to the sounds of early Weezer will be found in abundance during this set.
Monster Energy Stage
Continuing the theme of pop punk, WSTR should also be on your radar whilst at Slam Dunk. Fresh from the release of their most recent album, Red, Green or Inbetween, an album that demonstrated that if something isn’t broke then don’t fix it. The something in question is the seemingly formulaic approach to pop punk that’s plagued the genre in recent years. The band wears its inspirations on its sleeve and should be applauded for being so brash. Their set is early in the day so there should no excuse for missing WSTR in action.
What can we say about Bowling For Soup that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? These guys are the musical embodiment of fun. They might be getting on a little bit in years but Jaret and the boys certainly know how to put on a show. As the headlining act for the Fireball Stage expect a hit packed set list with tracks that you’ll somehow know (even if you’re not a fan) and a lot of between song banter. Get your friends, grab some beers and get ready for a party.
The Jagermeister Stage has a ton to offer at Slam Dunk this year. With Japanese band Crossfaith opening up earlier in the day, their unique blend of electonicore pairing well for the festivals headlining act and our pick of the day, Enter Shikari. Part of their ‘A Celebration of 10 Years Take To The Skies’ shows, expect Rou and the gang to be firing on all cylinders as they close the festival. The set promises their debut album Take To The Skies in full as well as a handful of fan favourites from their hit packed discography. This is their last scheduled show in England before returning to the studio to work on their follow up to 2015’s The Mindsweep.