Form 10 EP Release Show Review

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Submitted by Christopher Schieman (chris.schieman.writing@gmail.com)

 

Despite the close to minus 30 degrees Celsius temperatures coming in Edmonton, inside of the Mercury Room was boiling to the point that pints of beer dripped with condensation along the sides of the glasses. The Mercury Room felt packed air-tight, as people packed in to watch local alt-punk quintet Form 10 proudly showcase the songs off of its newest EP, Lost but Feel Alright. Starting the night would be Edson hip hop act, Srvent; whose Eminem like tempos and grasp of musical concepts only learned through classical training created a jaw dropping introduction to the Edmonton stage. In a nod of camaraderie to what the band refers to as the Form 10 Family, former guitarist Xander Borrelli’s new band, Ends in Tragedy would grace the stage next. Their raucous and raw brand of power punk was capped off by a truly original cover of Ludacris’ “Move Bitch”. Up next, was Red Deer’s The Pits, who visually and sonically create a throwback to the 80’s that could only be described as Gem and The Holograms personified.

For Form 10 this would be the first show since the previous summer that frontman Greg Allen would put down his guitar in favour of focusing all his attention on assaulting the microphone. However, this would the band’s introduction of Russ Murray on second guitar, whose style adds compliment to Aaron Taylor’s already signature riffs, while adding his own flavour of virtuosity to the set.

Rounding out the band was rhythm section Chris Johnson and Rich Kusi-Menkah, on drums and bass (respectively). It didn’t take long for the band to set up. Without warning, Allen gave a quick introduction and the band kicked into its tightest and most powerful set to date. Channeling the spirit of vocalists like Milo Aukerman and Ian Mackaye, Allen took tight hold of the microphone, grit his teeth, and belted out the group’s signature songs with the ferocity and passion of a 1980s hardcore legend.

Murray’s triumphant introduction to Form 10’s friends and fans saw him perfectly integrate into the band. By the end of the set, it was almost hard to picture the band without him.. His complement to the established technical leads by Taylor created a new depth for the band’s twin-guitar charge. The guitarist even displayed some of his own guitar solos, solidifying himself as a staple part of the band.

In a surprise twist, the track “Raze Your Own Empire” saw Srvent return to the stage, utilizing the band as his backing band. This served as an opportunity to see the true musicianship of the band, particularly Kusi-Menkah, whose background is funk music, and Johnson, whose display of prowess on the drums showed his blatant admiration of all things Travis Barker.

Closing out the show, the band invited all the opening acts to join them on stage to sing along to “Bro-Hymn.” The cover would wind up louder and more passionate than at any Pennywise concert and created the sense that Form 10 is no longer a single standing entity but rather part of a larger community of musicians and artists vying to carve out unique identities for themselves. No two performances at that show sounded the same, yet the camaraderie between the groups despite the differences was evident throughout the night and concretely defined during Form 10’s closing song.

Shows like Form 10’s EP release are often once in a lifetime for bands. But Form 10 continues to tear themselves open and let out everything that’s inside every time they step onto the stage. No matter if

the venue feels completely vacant or if it’s so packed that the sweat is dripping off the walls, Form 10 plays every performance like the world’s eyes are on that stage. No matter how full or empty the room they’re playing in is, they’re never alone and they always give it everything that they have until you think there’s nothing left to give. And then they give something more. This is every show that Form 10 takes part in and this will continue so long as the band has a stage to step foot on.

Review by Christopher Schieman.

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