Max Raptor return to Manchester and the fairly intimate surroundings of the bar in Sound Control. As they attempt to build on the well received debut album Mother's Ruin they might have hoped to see more people here but we've seen them enough times now to know that was never going to effect the performance.

I won't go into detail but the contrast between Max Raptor and the preceding band couldn't be more marked. MR just exude energy and intensity from start to finish; singer Wil Ray spends the whole gig getting right in the face of the crowd, continually urging them to get moving, which eventually works! It doesn't go unnoticed that he puts extra emphasis on the line 'and we're waiting for you to react' during The Alarm.

They play a mix of songs from Portraits and Mother's Ruin and it's pretty obvious that this is a band that have spent the last few years honing their craft. The whole band seem totally tuned into each other and it's effortlessly tight. Patron Saint of Nothing and England Breathes are superb tonight but it had to be The Great and the Good that stole the set and got even those that didn't want to, singing along with its ridiculously infectious riff and chorus.

Max Raptor continue to be a breath of fresh air, bridging the gaps between indie, hardcore and melodic punk perfectly. In a saturated scene we need bands like this more than ever.