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Twitching Tongues in Los Angeles — A Homecoming To Kill For

The band's grand return was supported by a death defying Kruelty, a surprise MSPAINT, Hardlore debut signees Cosmic Joke, and New York's Missing Link.

twitching tongues at 1720, twitching tongues, hardcore, hardlore podcast.
Photograph by Oscar Rodriguez

Text by Luis (@HeaviestOfArt), Photos by Oscar Rodriguez (@bloomxphoto) at

1720 in Los Angeles, CA on November 10, 2023:

As a band, an undying appreciation for your craft and/or an emotional connection driven by a common struggle is what you strive for. You want there to be a universality to the heart that goes invested as a means for deeper engagement. For one to have their material dissected, praised, and more importantly, felt, is a testament to the power that exists within a discography. Twitching Tongues hold said power, and on the evening of November 10th, Los Angeles proved that ten times over.

Led by a masked and commanding Colin Young, Twitching Tongues returned for a homecoming show following a noteworthy appearance at this year's Sound & Fury Festival, a Triple B Records showcase in New York, and a special "Twitchfits" performance covering Misfits in October. The event, hosted by the trusted SOS Booking & Production, was a testament to the camaraderie and strength of the community at large, the likes of which spanned all ends of the hardcore spectrum and a welcomed death metal addition by way of Japan's Kruelty.

kruelty, kruelty death metal.
Photograph by Oscar Rodriguez

Kruelty, who are on a victory lap celebrating the year-end contending Untopia (available now via Profound Lore Records), are an unconventional yet fitting addition to the hardcore bills they've been placed on, which include this year's edition of Sound & Fury, a Japanese tour run with Sunami, and the Okinawa City Hardcore Fest. Beyond that, they've embarked on a massive tour with Sanguisugabogg, opened for Bring Me The Horizon in Tokyo, took on an Eastern Asian Tour, and so much more. Simply put, Kruelty are a machine with an admirable work ethic worthy of the praise it gets on a global scale.

Opportunities as great as the ones they've capitalized on don't come to just anyone, but those who maximize their time front of an audience. The band's penultimate slot at the Twitching Tongues show was just that — a ripping, groove laden display of sheer death metal brutality.

Frontman Zuma led the heavyweights that are his wife/bass player Seina, drummer Mani, and fill in guitarist Miles McIntosh to a barn burner of a set that slow burned and tore open the packed warehouse. Breakdowns, such as the one in Harder Than Before, were downright menacing and the energy was electric throughout, met by a cheerful 1720 that gravitated towards the band's raw power. The pit was open throughout the entirety of the set, and rightfully so as Kruelty's old school death metal prowess raged on.

This is a Kruelty a long ways from A Dying Truth (2019), more intentional in their composition and astounding in their showmanship after lineup changes and a sonic refinement. Untopia is a culminating beast that positions the band among the most prominent in the death metal underground. They've truly found their footing in the communities of two genres brimming with talent and they couldn't be more at home with an album so strong, so thrilling and accessible it garners the attention of keen ears regardless of how mutually exclusive the history between the aforementioned genres has been. The way it's looking, there's plenty of Kruelty to come and the world is a better place for it.

kruelty, kruelty death metal.
Photograph by Oscar Rodriguez

Kruelty were but one of the several standouts that graced the stage this evening. Cosmic Joke, Missing Link, and surprise guests MSPAINT triumphed on their respective ends, filling the room early on and setting a tone for the headlining act to follow. Merch lines began to dwindle and the hundreds gathered together as we neared the start time for a headlining performance to remember. Fixtures in the local hardcore photography scene, including our own Oscar Rodriguez, Kat Nijmeddin, and Erica Lauren among others, were present to document the special occasion. Photography aside, many familiar faces were among the many in attendance, faces seen at most, if not all, of LA's hardcore offerings.

Lights dimmed and an eager Twitching Tongues walked aboard alongside a cinematic opening sequence playing on the digital screen behind them. Eyes Adjust kicked things off traditionally as "TWITCHING FUCKING TONGUES" was screamed in unison. With arms raised and bodies flying, Twitching Tongues were off to a thrill. Colin inched towards a vibrant group up front ready to scream alongside the frontman.

twitching tongues at 1720, twitching tongues, hardcore, hardlore podcast.
Photograph by Oscar Rodriguez

Gaining Purpose, Kill For You, a chilling cover of Last Caress, and others from across the band's trailblazing discography were on a pedestal, each of which resonated with the cheerful many. Choruses, like the memorable Preacher Man, were unbridled and radiant, drawing a crowd towards the microphone to sing along with the driving frontman.

Twitching Tongues defined passion with every Taylor Young riff, melody, and soulful croon that played on. Each band member was at their prime, enjoying their presence and making it known that this was more than a one way street, but a conversation being had with an audience basking in musical gold.

There was no shortage of sing alongs, stage dives, roundhouse kicks, circle pits, and screaming from the top of your longues. The night had it all and with a profound explosion of World War V, Twitching Tongues set off.

Though plans for Twitching Tongue's future remain unclear (to us at least), may we remember the night of November 10th as one of a hardcore harmony, reflective of the power that rests within LA's own. Let's let Oscar's exquisite photos serve as a time capsule for years to come.


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