• Charlotte Hardman

LOUDER FEATURES: 10 bands to get excited for at Slam Dunk 2021

Slam Dunk Festival 2021 is less than two weeks away, and we can't wait to be back in a field in amongst some of alternative music's best and brightest bands - and the scene's most dedicated fans to boot! While the line up for the first Slammy D in over 18 months is stacked as always - with headliners Don Broco, NOFX, and While She Sleeps performing alongside the likes of Waterparks, Bury Tomorrow, and Alkaline Trio - there are many other bands performing across the day that have us seriously excited! Here are ten of our most-anticipated sets that you need to rush the stage to see!

1. Malevolence

Having already rocked both the Download Festival Pilot event and Bloodstock Festival this summer, Sheffield's brutal metallers Malevolence have been carving out a fiery name for themselves this year, drawing avid new fans to joining their staunch following. Teaming up on the Jägermeister stage with their hometown fellows While She Sleeps, they are guaranteed to get just as raucous a reaction as their home city brethren!

2. Blood Youth

For the Hardcore powerhouses in Blood Youth, dominating festival stages is a regular occurrence, with their blend of punishing riffs and ripping punk rock sensibilities which have delighted audiences with each and every outing. Spring-boarding off the back of their spine-tingling new single 'Cells', the band are sure to deliver a punishing set that will undoubtedly leave any brave mosh pit-goers with lasting bruises - and we simply can't wait!

3. Funeral for a Friend

Now Funeral For a Friend is a name we are sure most former (read: still secretly current!) emo kids will know well, but just how astonishing their return to the stage has been is a story that often goes untold. Initially, the band reunited, four years after their official break-up, for a run of intimate shows to raise money for their friend who was battling a terminal illness, to help support his three young sons. However, sadly, their friend Stuart Brothers passed away before the shows could take place. While the concerts still went ahead, it was after this heartbreaking tragedy that the band decided a full reunion was in order, having since announced a UK tour which has been rescheduled to January 2022. A heart-wrenching story which will no doubt make their poignant lyricism and yearning power even more profound when they perform live once again.

4. The Bottom Line

If it's unadulterated joy that you're looking for, then look no further than light-hearted pop-punkers The Bottom Line. Opening the Rock Scene main stage with their infectious brand of pogoing pop rock, indulgent smiles will be abound at the funky bounce of their latest single 'Broke' (the delightful silliness of the accompanying video sums it up pretty well!)

5. Roam

Rising to prominence with the pop punk revival of the mid-2010s, Roam have always flown a little further under the radar than their compatriots in bands such as Neck Deep and As It Is. However, that mistake falls on the rock scene rather than the band themselves - their latest record 'Smile Wide' is packed full of delectable gems like the chunky, riff-filled 'LOUD' and the tumultuous 'Toy Box'. And, with the recent setlist teaser they posted on their Twitter, old-school fans of the band will undoubtedly be very happy too...

6. A

No, that wasn't a typo- as keys player Giles mentioned in an interview with us at 2000 Trees Festival in 2019, calling your band A was a great idea when it meant you would always be at the front of the basket in a record shop, but not so much when you're searching for it on the internet! Not that being veterans of the alternative rock scene is in any way a disadvantage to these loveable rogues - on the contrary, including walking mosh pits in their sets to avoid any well-worn muscles being strained only adds to their infallible charm!

7. The Skints

Blending genres and blurring boundaries is all the range in music at the moment, but few bands are quite as ambitious about it than reggae-rockers The Skints. Gracing the Punk in Drublic stage with their myriad influences, which range from soul and ska to punk rock and dancehall, they almost definitely take the crown for the most unique act across the whole festival!

8. Normandie

Super-slick Swedish alt-rockers Normandie may seem polished and pure, but their latest album 'Dark and Beautiful Secrets' is a profoundly personal insight into the struggles of dealing with your mental health, especially while trying to keep up a facade of joy on stage night after night. Blending elements of everything from metalcore to indie across it's tracks, their live performance is likely to be as nebulous and absorbing as the record itself - definitely a band to indulge yourself in as they continue to grow into themselves, and into the spotlight.

9. [spunge]

Now, ska-punk gets a bad rap for the way it was once co-opted by nefarious groups of hate-filled individuals. But, the true heart of the genre lies in pure, unfiltered joy, and none do that better than tongue-in-cheek skankers [spunge] (the brackets being included so, in the words of singer Alex Copeland: "the letters do not fall out", should give you a good idea of the kind of jubilant, youthful atmosphere you can expect from their set!). And, as if that wasn't enough to tempt you, who doesn't want to throw themselves around with wild abandon to a song about kicking pigeons?

10. Chunk? No, Captain Chunk!

Another band who have risen from the dead, and, after the frankly awful 18 months that the global music industry has had, the return of this French quintet could not be more welcome! Following primarily in the easy-core vein of the likes of New Found Glory and Four Year Strong, though also weaving the odd metal-core breakdown in there just for variety - and to keep you on your toes! - Chunk? No, Captain Chunk! have something for absolutely everyone in their raucous single 'Bitter' alone! So, what are you waiting for?!

Who are you excited to see at Slam Dunk this year? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Slam Dunk Festival will take place on the 4th-5th of September 2021 at two sites - Temple Newsam Park in Leeds and Hatfield Park in Hatfield, London.

Any remaining tickets are available to purchase here: