It was a Thursday night, it was a sold out Royal Blood show, it was at The Wiltern, and it was Hastings’ own Grunge/Noise/Post-Punk upstarts HotWax opening the night, which was also their first U.S. show. Though they were 8,800 km from their beachside UK city, the veterans of a number of England’s biggest fests sounded right at home blasting out a barrage of heavy low-end-dominated rock tracks highlighted by the fiery doom/sludge toned bass playing of Lola Sam, the explosive drumming of Alfie Sayers, and the powerful vocals and guitar of Tallulah Sim-Savage.
So many great moments throughout the set, like “Drop” from 2023 EP Invite Me, Kindly, which featured the coolest heavy bass tone of the night shaking the old theatre, along with explosive energy and aggro vocals. Dynamic “A Thousand Times”, title track from another 2023 EP felt perhaps the grungiest part of the night with some guitar and bass single note harmonies and expansive sound and floating vocals that could be straight from 1992. The set wrapped up with the most memorable song of the night “Rip It Out”, also from the A Thousand Times EP. Another song that contrasts a midtempo verse and bridge with a fiery, angsty, and energetic chorus mantra that burns into the brain fast and will not leave until you have to tell everyone about it for the next week and make everyone watch the video on repeat. At least that’s our experience.
The Royal Blood audience at The Wiltern ate it up and we loved it too and we’re looking forward to their next LA show November 28 at Zebulon.
Words and photos by Tim Aarons
FULL HOTWAX AT THE WILTERN GALLERY: