BREAK ON THROUGH (TO THE OTHER SIDE)
the fine line between genius and insanity.. does it exist? can it be crossed? from both sides? more than once? can one safely survive the journey between both extremes without losing an eye? (or even an ear?) and if so, what wisdom can be gleaned from crossing either side of the twilight frontier that exists between these two extremes? should I ever be foolish enough to dare push the limits of my sanity and find out? see what insanity or genius I can bring forth from the grinning void? hmmmm.. fuckit.. just this once.. at the very extreme of all that is improbable.. I'm sure as fuck gonna try and find out! MUHAHAHAHA!!
and so, we witness what I like to consider SPOZ's INSANE MUSIC WEEKEND.. 4 nights, 12 live bands, all photographed, all written and reviewed over a marathon 12-16 hour writing session and published on this gonzo website within 24-36 hours for your amusement.. is it genius or insanity? you be the judge!
read on kiddies if you dare! coz this is gonna be one epic FUCKOFF sized journey :)THURSDAY NIGHT
SPOZ's INSANE LIVE MUSIC WEEKEND - ROUND 1, the location: JIVE, musical acts supplied for our dribbling baboon amusement: FINISHING SCHOOL, THE BELL CURVE and a pissant laptop geek act by the name of CENTAURZ.. my original reason for being called in here tonight (at the last minute) was to join SHE WHO WILL NOT BE NAMED (coz CHELSEA hates it when I mention her name in this blog.. hehehe :) SALLYCAT and other such notorious freaks for some mindlessly impulsive alcohol fueled stupidity (it was only later that I realise there were actually bands playing tonight as well.. HA!)CENTAURZ
arriving at 8:30PM, I find this bespectacled geek tinkering away with his laptop on stage.. and for the first 10 minutes or so I really couldn't make heads or tales of what the fuck it was meant to be.. was he playing music? performing a sound check? filing out TAX returns? surfing porn? sending encrypted messages to his trenchcoat mafia sleeper cell? considering the house mixer had the output cranking somewhat below the volume of a mouse fart it was really hard to tell either way (and chances are, if he's reading this review.. I'll be expecting a "denial of service" attack from that same laptop any minute now.. hahahaha!)
when I could actually hear what he was playing, the music sounded like a reasonably cruisy instrumental glitch techno mix of light breaks and atmospheric illbience.. existing somewhere between what you'd expect from DJ SPOOKY and SQUAREPUSHER with perhaps a few sprinkles of the BOARDS OF CANADA thrown in for good measure.. occassionally for laughs he'd also mix it up by swapping to bass guitar, which funnily enough we also couldn't hear and finished the set off by thanking his tiny loyal following on a microphone that wasn't switched on.. hmmmmm.. perhaps it was meant to be avant garde? ;)THE BELL CURVE
with CENTAURZ now leaving the stage (cheered on by a thunderous one hand clapping applause by his loyal rent-a-crowd of 4-5 people), up next we have a 3 piece band by the name of THE BELL CURVE..
this band could be considered in the same lightly cheerful league as other chick singer songwriter acts such as MISSY HIGGINS, ALANIS MORRISETTE (with maybe even a hint of early 90's act FRENTE) or whatever else twangy nonsense you'd expect to be cranking during one of those emo scenes in HOME AND AWAY..
all jokes aside tho' they actually weren't all that bad once you got past how ridiculously perky and constantly chatty the lead singer ANNIE was (she claimed to be FINISHING SCHOOL's number ONE myspace stalker.. woooo creeeeepy!) or how often she'd rather exciteably and repeatively play up for her huddled rent-a-crowd of faithful friends.. but hey, they DID play a mean arse cover of RADIOHEAD's "FAKE PLASTIC TREES".. so I gotta give credit where credit is due (*cough* please don't stalk me.. bwaaahahaha!)THE FINISHING SCHOOL
with their fluffly and frolicking 30-40 minute set of grinning cheese done for the night.. ANNIE and the rest of THE BELL CURVES are safely packed away in their waiting padded cells, as they clear the stage for tonight's headlining act, THE FINISHING SCHOOL..
now from what my exceptionally lazyarse MYSPACE research tells me, THE FINISHING SCHOOL were once known as the ecclectic lo-fi folk act, THE EMCEE QUARTET, before swapping a few members and sounds around to form their current cruisy rock ensemble.. featuring EMILY COMBE on vocals and her brother THOM COMBE on guitars (who wouldn'tcha know it.. also happen to be unholy demon spawn of the ever infamous kiddie entertainer / singer songwriter PETER COMBE.. hooooooly crap!)
and also featuring, TRISTIAN COURTNEY noodling away lo-fi funk grooves on bass guitar..
and his brother ZAC COURTNEY thrashing it out on drums and light percussion..
occassionally to kick in the quirk, TRISTIAN would also throw down some stabbing funk on the double bass..
EMILY would slide in some slinky smooth sounds with the violin..
whilst her brother THOM would accompany it all with some noodling trumpet..
the overall mix they cooked up made for some seriously slinky, laid back funky shit.. just the thing for a smoke filled downstairs swingcat lounge bar or beachside jazz festival.. and they cooked up a seriously kicking cover of AIR's "ALL I NEED" that you couldn't help but groove along to.. yeah, for a band I'd only seen endless self proclaimed MYSPACE hype about.. call me impressed, I actually liked these guys :)
of course, I should clarify, that it's at this point in the proceedings (whilst selecting the photo's the next day) that I finally realise the same "geek" with the glasses I made fun of earlier in CENTAURZ is also the bass guitarist in THIS band *ooops!* it's funny the sorta glaringly obvious details you fail to notice at the time (damn you and your clever "spectacles" disguise) so yeah *ahem* sorry about that dude (and this is coming from someone who KNOWS what it's like to be in my own highly ridiculed laptop techno act.. hahahaha!)
anyhoo.. with the bands now done for the night, I throw myself in the relative direction of the bar..
sink a few too many pints of frosty piss, as served by JIVE's ever friendly bar staff..
manage to find PETER COMBE lurking around in the crowd, so like any self respecting idiot looking for a cheap bit of celebrity stunt casting, get a photo with him (and yes I DO realise just how much of a goober I look in this photo.. but hey, when yer dealing with kiddie entertainers.. you gotta look the part ;) )
before then drunkingly piling out the door just shy of midnight in search of my bus home..
thus concluding my lo-fi cruisy evening of Thursday night live entertainment.. eeeee! :)FRIDAY NIGHT
SPOZ's INSANE LIVE MUSIC WEEKEND - ROUND 2, the location: (no prizes for guessing where), the musical acts supplied for our dribbling baboon amusement tonight: MIRRORLINE, LOEMAX and POLY & THE STATICS.. I arrive at 9PM, and like any self respecting gonzo begin loading up on the happy hour beers..POLY & THE STATICS
hitting the stage lights first for the night, we have POLY & THE STATICS..
featuring hammering STROKES'esque guitars and vocals from the shrieking weasel, JOSH PHILLIPS..
the cheesingly infectious WEEZER'esque guitars and ARTIC MONKEY'esque vocals from JON MARCO..
the hammering dancepunk GERLING beats of metronome drummer GREG BEAZLEY (who could very likely be THE most freaky robot drum machine in Adelaide with the way he thrashes out on that thing.. wooo!)
and the stabbing subsonic grooves of bass guitarist TOM McCARTHY-JONES.. who, since we're continuing with the hilarious theme of "bands that POLY & THE STATICS may or may not be influenced by" (I know how much you love the pigeon holing dudes.. hahaha) I'll compare with the bass grooves of FRANZ FERDINAND..
all in all, it's another slamming set by the STATICS that held up surprisingly well despite JOSH managing to break near to every string on his guitar mid set, sending him scrambling backstage in search of a backup guitar whilst the rest of the band played along regardless in an insane off-kilter dirge.. ROCK :)
but as if often the case with such comical near disasters on stage, nobody in the crowd is ever ANY the wiser (which is why it can only help that such insanity occured during happy hour.. bwaahahahahaha!)LOEMAX
and now up next for our amusement, we have the honking proto-grunge sounds of LOEMAX..
a band that likes to consider itself the zen minimalist rock garden that exists between the artrock sounds of MOGWAI and the experimentalist prog-rock weirdness of bands like AT THE DRIVE-IN or MARS VOLTA..
but from what I observed, they somewhat more resembled the cut and dried throw around sounds of the PIXIES or NIRVANA's "IN UTERO" album, creating a chugging beast of early 90's slacker rock that all the long haired flannel shirt freaks would've gone spastic for if only PEARL JAM hadn't ruined the fun a few years later by making it all AM RADIO bland and popular with the cookie cutter kids n shit..
overall they were a cool enough no-nonsense grunge rock band (although maybe not the most memorable or distinguishly unique sounding of acts) but as much as they weren't fans for wacky on stage theatrics, they still managed to shred up a mean arse performance whilst they threw themselves around stage tonight (and the bass player had this hilariously fucked up spastic leg twitch to keep things interesting for idiot photographers like me) so all in all, thumbs up dudes.. you guys are aaaiight with me :)
with the 2nd band down for the count, it's high time I return to the bar for some more frosty brews (since I've found over the years that the best live photo's are usually achieved after at least 3-4 beers ;) )
now returning to the stage with beer in hand, I spot TOM SPALL from MIRRORLINE performing a haunting rendition of KERMIT THE FROG's "IT AINT EASY BEING GREEN" whilst he tunes his guitar for a last minute soundcheck.. it's at this point that I start to suspect my beer might possibly be spiked with a volatile cocktail of horse tranquilisers and shrooms.. either that or those mischievous lighting gremlins are playing tricks with me again (if only they'd do an entire gig in BLUE.. that'd make my freaking year maaaaan! ;) )MIRRORLINE
before too long tho' order (and my sanity) is soon restored as THE CRANKA stage is once more plunged into it's ever popular submarine redlit darkness (great for the drunks, but a NIGHTMARE for live band photography) as MIRRORLINE proceed to thrash into the first song with maniacal glee..
as we present the shrieking chihuahua vocals and buzzing guitars of TOM SPALL..
the chugging diabolical prog rock grooves of bassist and freaky human statue SEAN LANGCAKE..
and backed by the twirling percussion blades of BEN WHITE on drums.. as they continue to explore the middle ground between the pissed off skeletal fury of late 80's NIRVANA, and the overblown melodramatic excess of MUSE.. it's a deadly combination, but these monkeys always deliver it in spades..
it's very likely that crowd favourites like MONKEY FUCKING TRIANGLE made an appearance (I never seem to remember WHICH freaking song that is.. despite giving it the name once when I was howlingly drunk a year or two back) as well as a few new cuts, like this propulsive number cranked out here by TOM SPALL on guitar that appears to be a salute to the plasticine moves of MR GUMBY ;)
of course, no amount of me making fun of TOM SPALL will go unpunished for too long, as at this point (whilst kneeling in front of the stage to grab a shot) I find myself knee deep in chewing gum..
insert cartoon expletives *@$%^#@#!! $#@%!! $$#$%@#!!* whilst I attempt to pick the icky pink shit off my trouser legs (note: if you're ever stuck in this situation, I find the best thing to do, is to use the same gum you've already picked off your leg to grab the rest of the offending pink blobs.. aaaah ;) )
meanwhile, MIRRORLINE continue to shred along with their furious brand of pissed off rock.. even if SEAN is starting to freak about all manner of chewing gum, dog turds and splattered cow organs (hi KAMIKAZE!) that are likely littered around the floor below him (hmmm.. so THAT's the reason why it's so dark in here :) )
whilst BEN thrashes his fragile drumkit within an inch of its life with his stabbing rhythm..
making for yet another volatile outburst of screaming angst from Adelaide's premiere hissyfit band.. a set that only ends after TOM SPALL has run out've batteries and stopped dead like a dropped marionette..
and now that the live portion of tonight's festivities are over.. I further my drunken spiral of self destruction flailing around on the dancefloor with some of the freak and geek entourage from TONY FONT SHOW..
before receiving an SMS from SMASHYCAT, who's been happily drunking it up in the west end after a surprise gig by Brisbane band TRANSPORT (playing in a bizarre side project with a female lead singer..)
and so, for cheap laughs I make for a disoriented drunken stagger down RUNDLE and HINDLEY streets..
arriving here at ELYSIUM LOUNGE, somewhere past 2AM..
for all manner of psychedelic fruity mixed sledgehammer cocktails..
popping spastic chiropractic moves to the funk / electro / boogie jams cranked out by the club DJ..
till finally at 3:30AM or so, I've had enough partying for one night (since I know full well I got 2 more nights insanity still yet to go), so I throw myself out the door and down this rather familiar looking side alley (what happened to PROSCENIUM anywaze!?) in search of my last $6 bus home to sleep it all off..
and that, spiraling into dribbling unconsciousness is the end of my Friday night..
*INTERMISSION* "YA YA YA WOOO WOOO!! INTERMISSION!! WEE WEE MOO MOO MOO!! INTERMISSION!" yup that's right kiddies.. we've reached the midway point in our cinematic epic, so what better time than now to duck out for that much needed toilet break, refill that coffee cup, feed those pets, take them for a walk, stretch your legs, snort another line, check up on the prisoners and defuse that pesky nuclear device that's been ticking away unattended for the last 10 minutes and otherwise recharge.. coz we've got another 2 nights chock full of stupidity yet to come! WAAAHOOOOOO! :) )SATURDAY NIGHT
SPOZ's INSANE LIVE MUSIC WEEKEND - ROUND 3, the location: ROCKET BAR and the musical acts supplied for our dribbling baboon amusement tonight are: LADY STRANGELOVE and THE MERCY ARMS (from Sydney) playing in support of WOLF & CUB's ALBUM LAUNCH (wahoooo!) so, to begin another night in style, I arrive here at 9PM.. head straight to the bar and load up on beers.. and for cheap laughs (mostly coz they're also cheap drinks) I decide upon a mix of HEINEKEN and BECK pints tonight.. weeee!LADY STRANGELOVE
20 minutes in and the first band of the night LADY STRANGELOVE fire up on stage..
which is heralded by keyboardist AZZ bringing forth a howling synth attack that sounds like a cross between a rusted chainsaw cutting into steel reinforced concrete and a motorbike accident played in fast forward, cutting into the air around us for about 30 seconds or so before all manner of shit breaks loose as the rest of the band fire up.. creating what would hafta be the most INSANE breakbeat terrorist exploding freakjam I've ever heard a live band attempt on stage without causing a roof cave-in..
apparently it's a new song they've been cooking up since just last week and oooooh FUCK did it rock the fuck out like nobody's bidniz :) if the full fury of THE PRODIGY found itself spawning a mutant love child with the CHEMICAL BROTHERS and a WORLD WAR 2 air-raid siren, then this would be the beast it'd unleash..
from there it just got weirder and weirder and more freakingly insane.. I mean shit, if I thought their performance at the CD LAUNCH last week was insane, their set this week punched a screaming fist beyond even the ear bleed limits of that as all manner of psychedelic bird explosions and shit flew everywhere..
if there was vocals (and they keep telling me BRENDAN wrote pages and pages of lyrics to all this nonsense) all I could hear was insane shrieking, hollaring, hooting and gnashing screams as AZZ's bass riffs cycled thru the air in ever freakier hypnotic loops and all the laws of reality folded in on themselves like 50,000 giant oscillating technicolour pretzels chasing the corona of the sun.. WOOOOOHEHEHAHAHAHAHA!! :)
and all the while as this symphony of chaos rained hellfire all about us.. there's JOSH the guitarist, lost in his own little world, doing his happy little spastic chicken dance and buzzing off the energy..
*phew* yup, if you caught WOLF & CUB's ALBUM LAUNCH on the FRIDAY instead of tonight, then you missed one helluva mind melting experience with these space born monkeys.. OOOH SHIT did this fucking blow up insane! (when I use this many fuckoff superlatives to describe a gig, you know it MUST'VE been good :) )THE MERCY ARMS
hmmmmm.. I really didn't like the chances of the band foolish enough to follow these circus freaks tonight, and that unenviable task soon fell upon the shoulders of these poor fools as they hit the stage..
yup, MERCY ARMS were yet another one of those cookie cutter INDIE fashion tragic acts that seem to be flooding out of SYDNEY of late, what with all their disscordant wailing, layered guitars and dancepunk beats..
and as much as all them indie kids would normally be bandits for this shit.. after LADY STRANGELOVE had reduced the dancefloor to a smoking ruin tonight, there was barely a soul left alive for these guys.. as within minutes of MERCY ARMS starting up everyone had soon fled to the saftey of the bar..
and from what I could hear I really wasn't surprised it was a ghost town out there.. if you formed a band that channeled all the very "best" (worst) of THE KILLERS, DURAN DURAN, THE SMITHS and THE CURE.. and then played it so earnestly insipid with ballad after power ballad of puffy shirted melodrama to a crowd of otherwise indifferent psychedelic freaks who'd much rather climb up the walls and lick the wallpaper then listen to your set, then you really couldn't expect a miracle now could ya? ;)
but still, you gotta give credit to MERCY ARMS for giving it a red hot go.. sure they may've been a big girl's blouse with shoulder pads, and sure they may've played the kinda overwrought shit that even a show like THE OC wouldn't stoop to for using in one of their car crash EMO scenes.. but hey, MERCY ARMS still powered on regardless.. and for that.. I gotta hand it them.. you may suck, but dammit.. YOU SUCK SO WELL!! :)WOLF & CUB
with that harrowing experience over with.. all the people sent fleeing to the darkening crawl spaces are now returned enmasse, flooding the front of the stage in a seething mass of hooting baboons, all chanting in unison, eagerly awaiting the appearance of the headlining act tonight, WOLF & CUB..
JOEL CAREY and ADAM EDWARDS begin pounding our their hypnotic synchronised drum attack, spiraling a percussive juggernaut of tribal metronome beats that whip the crowd into a howling frenzy around me..
guitarist and lead vocalist JOEL BYRNE cuts thru the pounding twin rhythms with his chugging barrage of snarling riffs, chanting his lyrics over and over with an unintelligible sense of psychedelic urgency..
whilst THOMAS MAYHEW, the wookie bassist, thrashes out his subsonic grooves like a shaggy dog on acid..
if nothing else, the most fun in watching WOLF & CUB cut it up live, is to witness these two drummers here as they fire up their polyrhythmic beats in freaky unison.. it's damn trippy to watch..
especially when you consider, that even beyond other fragile looking stick insect indie drummers (seriously what IS it with this subgenre and their midget drummers?) this dude here looks like the kinda geeky kid that even THOM YORKE and CHRIS MARTIN could've had no trouble beating up on in highschool.. yet, get him behind the drumkit and he's a demon possessed.. I like to call him THOM YORKE jnr :)
all the shredding classics from their album make an appearance, with cuts like THIS MESS, SEEDS OF DOUBT and STEAL THEIR GOLD thundering out in a sea of noise, screams and hypnotic mind melting rhythms..
interspersed with some of their more reflectively stoner psychedelic numbers like the spongey grooves of HAMMOND and KINGDOM conjured up in a slow burning dervish of hair flailing and space cadet noodlings (they even gave one of their classics from the first EP, A THOUSAND CUTS a right royal thrashing.. eeee!)
although, things almost turned violent when somebody in the crowd made the mistake of requesting a WOLFMOTHER song, to which the lead vocalist could be heard exclaiming "OI!? WHOEVER REQUESTED "WOMAN" CAN FUCK OFF!!" (and here I wuz without any WOLF PARADE songs to request.. hahahaha!)
overall, with a set clocking on up at over an hour or so.. these hairyarse primates absolutely tore the roof off the joint, their kaleidoscopic 70's sound was blasting out loud and clear.. the halo of ever shifting lights made for some of the trippiest visuals this place has ever coughed up.. yup, not since DUNGEN back in JULY has ROCKET BAR rocked out as hard as it did tonight.. wooooo! :)
after the gig, the crowd slowly dispersed, and after all the beers I'd drunk that night (personally I found the BECKs agreed with me a little better than all the HEINEKENs) thoughts soon led me to "seeing a man about a horse".. but, in what turned out to be a truly bizarre sequence of events.. the usual mens toilets had been made unavailable (lighting malfunction they claimed) so instead we were then led via a secret door near the bar to a hidden second set of toilets downstairs (wooooo.. freaaaaky :) )
(hmmmm.. yeah.. ok, guess you just had to be there to experience how freaky this was.. hahaha!)
returning back upstairs, I stared out the window in a drunken haze to the activity on HINDLEY ST below.. wondering where my furthering gonzo adventures would take me next (coz hey, wot's an episode of SPOZ's RANT without SOME circus freaks to keep things entertaining) and as chance would have it an SMS from SIMONE would give me just the excuse for such madness, so I bid farewell to ROCKET BAR..
arriving at LIZARD LOUNGE (aka: THE NIGHT TRAIN COMPLEX) for a tripped out jungle themed party..
stepping inside.. I'm greeted by these familiar looking freaks - CURIOUS GEORGE (aka: JOE BLOGS) and FLAPPY FLAPPY JUNGLE BEE (aka: SIMONE) as they quietly sat in the corner looking altogether goofy..
numerous friskly felines of varying lunatic persuasions, such as JUNGLE CAT SARA here..
and um, what I believe was some kind've deranged party crashing homeless guy..
witness the homeless guy pounce on FLAPPY FLAPPY JUNGLE BEE (before we all doused him in fire extinguishers, rolled him up in carpet and threw him out the 2nd story window.. WOOHAHAAHAHA!!)
and er.. um.. fuck! that's it.. this is just getting far too weird! (of course it wasn't necessarily witnessing a party full of jungle lunatics that had me tweaked out.. it was the fact that most of them weren't actually drinking tonight and were participating in all this nonsense SOBER.. AAUAUAGGHH!!)
and so, fleeing the escalating (sober) weirdness of LIZARD LOUNGE, I decide next to head to the east end of the city to continue my furthering drunken search for unintelligent signs of life..
I step foot in the CRANKA.. take one look around.. upstairs, downstairs and on the crowded dancefloor.. "nope, nobody I recognise here".. so fuckit, it's back west to the ROCKET BAR again..
as I while away the next few hours, getting furtheringly drunk, stupid and spaced out with the psychedelic freaks from LADY STRANGELOVE, skitzing out all manner of spastic moves on the dancefloor..
till finally 3:30AM swings by again and my night draws to a close.. finding myself down that strangely familiar side alley again (so really, who ever went to O2!? anyone!?) in search of my $6 bus home..
and thus returning to the incoherent swirling trashpile that spawned me.. weeeee!
walls spin, brain falls out've my skull, unconsciousness soon follows me into the rising tides of dawn and all is still.. hmmmm.. is this the end? have I died!? OOOOOOO NO! NOT BY A LONG SHOT KIDDIES! :)SUNDAY NIGHT
SPOZ's INSANE LIVE MUSIC WEEKEND - ROUND 4, the location: HQ (former HEAVEN NIGHTCLUB), the musical acts supplied for our dribbling amusement tonight: COG, SUNK LOTO and MAMMAL.. and sure multiple organ failure may be imminent and my energy levels may be kicking on empty but when you get offered free entry to a gig like this, there's NO WAY any self respecting gonzo journalist could possibly refuse :)
and so, at 7:45PM.. my shuffling carcass arrives here at AUSSIE PIZZA HOUSE on HINDLEY ST for a pre show bite of dinner.. scarfing down one large 12" pizza (1/2 CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS, 1/2 BEEFY BBQ) in the space of 5 minutes.. and sure I realise this is a fucked up pizza combination that normally shouldn't see the light of day outside of insane 3AM pregnancy cravings.. but when yer as knackered as I am, this shit's damn near gold (the GINGER ALE also does wonders to my fractured innards too :) )
now feeling somewhat more three dimensionally solid after that hastily devoured meal (*yeoouch!* I burned the roof of my mouth AGAIN!? damn you piping hot melted cheese! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!) I then arrive at HQ at 8:10PM, at which point my "free ticket" arrives courtesy of MAMMAL and "SHE WHO WILL NOT BE NAMED" (coz clearly I've done this joke already.. bwaaahahaha!) and I make my way past security inside..
at this point I guess I should say something about HQ.. in short, I hate this freaking place.. sure, it plays host to some seriously kickarse touring bands, and has an exceptionally groovy multi-tiered open plan design with all manner of balconies and raised areas for capturing all manner of ninja live photo's.. but after surviving all the metal detectors outside, the cavity searches, checks for ID's, and then having to deal with the GESTAPO security inside combined with the blockheaded gangland fuckwits who seem to frequent this place looking to start shit with you and all the overpriced drinks in plastic cups.. there's a damn good reason WHY I haven't been here for over 3 years.. it's not HEAVEN NIGHTCLUB with a slightly different ceiling.. oh no! this place is HELL ON EARTH! (but hey, I got free entry tonight, so really, why should I care? :) )MAMMAL
anyhoo.. first up on stage we have the spastic funk metal sounds of MAMMAL..
featuring slap wacky bass rhythms from NICK ADAMS (who may or may not possibly be a shaved monkey of some kind with the way he tears around with that instrument on stage like a retarded loon)
body popping drum percussion from the infamous ZANE ROSANOSKI (infamous in that he's the same shirtless freak responsible for the itchy trigger finger beats of Melbourne's spastic mexican metal band JIKA, and thus the reason why all of us idiots managed to sneak in free tonight.. duuuude, YOU ROCK :) )
lead vocals from the ridiculously over preachy EZEKIEL OX, who either spends most of this gig ranting on various tangents relating to cheesingly obvious 80's social themes such as "we may be the different you and I.. we may be straight, gay, chinese, male, female, black or white.. but we are all the saaaaame maaaaan! lets all get together and unite yeaaaaah!", or twisting his larynx into an ever shrinking pretzel as he fires out another rapidfire 1/2 sung / 1/2 rapped vocal medly..
and chugging guitar riffing from PETE WILLIAMSON, who's head quite possibly resembles one of those cotton bud thingies you use to clean your ears out.. as they cook up a schizophrenic groove that sounds like a freaky mix between LIVING COLOUR, FAITH NO MORE (pre MIKE PATTON) and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS..
like most funk metal acts out there, these guys were prone to their fair share of rampaging experimentalism and spastic puppet stage theatrics.. which although often proving to be quite stupid, still proved more than enough cheap entertainment for gonzo photographers like myself ;)
EZEKIEL's constant crowd invasions proved endlessly popular (if a little frustrating for me in my many failed attempts to chase him down with a camera as he ran all around the joint trying to grab people..)
his wacky MIRRORBALL HELMET was seriously cool (mental note: must steal this for meself!)
but their rendition of SHAKESPEARE's HAMLET, with the infamous "TO BE OR NOT TO BE" speech was perhaps reaching a little too far above the heads of most of the people in here tonight.. hmmmm ;)
still.. as confusing as these lunatics often were running rampant on stage like a pack of 4 year olds, and as support acts go with (notoriously) tough crowds like this.. MAMMAL fucked shit up in style :)
and now the 1st band down and 2 more to go, the crowd is really beginning to reach idiot capacity..SUNK LOTO
as the next band, SUNK LOTO fire up the seething moshpit ahead of them..
now back in the day, these guys used to be considered the kiddie version of KORN, all whiny with their RAP METAL, spikey hair, dredlocks, baggy trousers, meaty guitar riffs and retarded screaming..
but now that they're older it looks like they've ditched the rap metal obsession for an equally silly PANTERA obsession.. as they push the house mix to ear bleeding levels of punishment and lead singer JASON BROWN does his very best to shred his vocal chords to a bloody pulp and deafen everyone in the room..
don't get me wrong, the rest of the band is more than adequate as early 90's drilling style metal acts go.. they got the adrenaline, they got the aggression, they thrash it out like the best of them..
but this retarded banshee of a lead singer manages to fuck the whole thing up.. as all he can do now (after butchering his vocals for all these years) is scream every one of his lyrics to the point of suffocation..
but thankfully just before my ear drums burst and my head explodes, their screaming set of metal torture draws to a close and I find sweet relief in the calm ringing of my ears.. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
the next 20-30 minutes are spent impatiently waiting as the crowd twitches in restless anticipation for COG to appear.. another 10 minutes passes and the relatively sedate background humm is punctuated with the loud frog farts and squelching synth noises of JEAN MICHEL JARRE's "OXYGENE PART IV".. still no signs of life on stage, save for roadies conducting last minute sound checks on the drums and barking message on the mics.. the crowd is killing themselves out there waiting for shit to happen.. but just before they can reach riot levels.. COG finally makes their appearance on stage.. aaah!COG
yup, it's been many years since I'd last seen these freaks play.. in fact, I believe the last time I ever saw them was when they played a tiny headlining spot with THE TESTEAGLES at ADELAIDE UNI, back late 2003..
and even before then, I remembered when they used to crash at my friend's place (WOKKA and HEIDI's) everytime they toured ADELAIDE.. playing smelly gigs in out've the way dives like the TONSLEY.. me getting stoned and playing videogames back at their hotel room.. aaaah yes.. crazy days.. craaazy days ;)
but since then, I'd lost track of them after TRIPLE JJJ RADIO built up their buzz when they did that cover to LEFTFIELD's "OPEN UP", they released that album "THE NEW NORMAL" in 2005 and all of a sudden, they were blowing up freaking everywhere.. and well, y'know me when it comes to hype, if I smell too much of it in the air chances are I'll just reject it outright.. yeah *oops* guess I missed the boat on these guys huh? ;)
and so, years later this was finally my chance to catch up on what I was missing out on..
and not a moment soon, as these prog metal lunatics absolutely tore the roof off this dump tonight..
sounding like a mix between THE DEFTONES, TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE with their atmospheric bass driven rhythms, chugging melodic riffs, pounding drums, double edged vocal deliveries, all whilst bouncing around like kangaroos shredding out song after song for over an hour and a 1/2.. oooooohyeaaah :)
and sure, I wasn't familiar with any of their shit they were cranking out tonight (so likely all you hardcore fans out there will be laughing at this hopefully vague review.. but hey, wot else do you expect at the tail end of a marathon 12-16 hour writing spree at 8:25AM.. journalistic excellence!? HA!) still, all the same.. as much as I'm normally clueless about this sorta music, I really dug this shit tonight.. ROCK :)
finally at around 12:30AM as COG near the end of their set and after I've taken over 500 photo's tonight from every conceivable angle and vantage point, one of the GESTAPO security spots me with a camera.. walks up to me, and tells me angrily "OI, YOU!! CAMERA'S AREN'T ALLOWED IN HERE TONIGHT!!"
"ooops, silly me.. I didn't know!"
(as I sheepingly put my camera away storing 500 photo's, looking all apologetic hehehe ;) )
so as you view all these shiny photo's I've brought for your amusement here tonight, just remember that technically they were ALL illegally aquired by gross acts of guerilla photography.. MUHAHAHAHAHA!! :)
anyhoo now that COG have finished, all the house lights have switched on and the GESTAPO security are now frantically trying to unceremoniously chuck everyone out (they're really so much nicer at THEBBIE THEATRE) it's now time for me to shuffle my weary carcass out and into the dribbling extremities of the night..
at 1AM or so, the gathering lunatics around me still looking to party (SALLYCAT and BOWIE) are currently hatching some crazy scheme for a marathon ABSINTHE session at some dive bar somewhere.. but clearly, after the 4 nights I've survived, I know it's high time I should get outta here before this shit kills me, so I chase down a taxi on HINDLEY STREET and find myself home at last.. aaaaah ;)
*phew* and so there we have it.. SPOZ's INSANE MUSIC WEEKEND - 4 nights, 12 bands and enough combined alcohol poisoning to kill a herd of buffalo.. how the FUCK did I survive this litany of destruction night after night and yet still possess enough braincells to write about it!?? who the fuck knows!?
yup.. truly this was me pissing ALL over the dividing line between genius and insanity :)
Previously on Spoz's Rant: Bohemian Like You