The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it might be little more than a touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth but to us it's a way of life. Feast within, on all its dysfunctioning splendour, as we bring you the highly satirical, laughingly fictional and intellectually imbecile tales from our rock & roll wasteland...
FIRE! SANTA ROSA FIRE! + SUGAR ARMY + TYGER TYGER LIVE @ ROCKET BAR / Friday March 7th 2008
I had no intentions of leaving the house tonight, I swear, I'd had enough! You can't possibly fathom just how ridiculously burnt out a live scene photojournalist gets running around every 2-3 days like a golden retriever with a camera in his mouth capturing every inane moment of this shit-storm city in "Mad March". It's just too much for one person to take! This is my blasted out cartoon shell punching fists through a brick wall trying to break out, this is me waving my white flag, this is me cutting you all off 24 hours in an isolation tank, nothing but new-age dolphin music and me medicating myself upto my eyeballs in diazepam "I'm a goldfish! I'm a goldfish! weeeeee!". But then I get an email today from American film maker Norwood Cheek offering to interview me for his brilliant "10x10xFringe" Adelaide scene documentary (hands up who wants yet more ill advised gibberish from me, on camera!? yes? no?), and then I catch whiff of this awesome lineup at Rocket Bar. "Just one night's peace Adelaide, it's all I ask of you!!" I grit my teeth, I cursed my good fortune and I charge into this grinning apocalypse once more..
TYGER TYGER (***1/2) myspace :: Never underestimate the unholy scourge that is Tyger Tyger: social delinquints, defilers of the social norm and terrorists through and through, they are a clear and present threat to all god fearing children the world over and they must be stopped; which is exactly why we need more bands just like this! Awesome! Recently booted off stage (after just 4 songs) from the Norwood Food & Wine Festival: thanks in no small part to the lecherous antics of one infamous Travis "Fuck You" Williamson and his family friendly lyrical content (performing a song called "I Cum Like 1000 Doves" may have something to do with it), they storm Rocket tonight triumphant in all their slurring fury. Featuring six people crammed onto a tiny stage and with upto three of them at a time bashing drums, bongos and climbing the walls, they very much resemble a bag of ferrets let loose on David Spade whilst he performs lewd covers of The Arctic Monkeys at a Brazilian Mardis Gras (give or take a few swirling nipple tassles). I still can't decide whether they're actually playing instruments or simply beating each other retarded, but it's definitely, without a doubt, the messiest set I've ever witnessed from them since they almost got kicked off the stage at the Ed Castle (I'll let you decide for yourself over whether this is a good thing).
SUGAR ARMY (****1/2) myspace :: With a sketchy name like this and an accompanying teddy bear melting poster art promotion for an EP called "Where Do You Hide Your Toys", I originally had this WA touring act pegged for an epilepsy enducing strobe light homage to Japanese gameshows, Itchy & Scratchy, mid 90's Rotterdam happy hardcore, Street Fighter button mashing, emo hissyfits and the sort've white trash child abuse in ritalin and red bulls that only A Current Affair could provide. Still, although the reality of Sugar Army is infinitely less insane than the blinking frankenstein of MY illbient delusions, they're in no way any less impressive. Fuck full of savage cutting grooves, shrill sirens and chainsaws they remind me of the psychotropic fuzz of Wolf & Cub's "Thousand Cuts", the chugging basslines of Damn Arms' "4 for 10" and the hyperventolin vocal delivery of The Dardanelles "Origami Tree"; or for something slightly less obscure in "indie geek" think The Futureheads and The Klaxons mixed with Death From Above 1979 and you wouldn't be far off from a grinning head concussion. Punchingly ultraviolent, freakingly awesome!
As much as I would've loved to capture their cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic" (which they thrashed so menacingly it sounded like a new-rave anthem NME would wet itself over) I caught a whiff of this mad jam on video instead. Buggered if I know what it was called (I'm utterly crap at listening to lyrics to determine these kinda things) but it blew the roof off this dump tonight..
FIRE! SANTA ROSA FIRE! (**1/2) myspace :: Two and a half stars!? Clearly swapping this local band to headline over touring band Sugar Army was an odd choice. Still, don't get me wrong, twelve months ago it would've made perfect sense: Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! were the most terrifying hummingbird shitstorm in post-punk the Adelaide indie scene had ever seen, they were like the Klaxons having a lightsabre fight with the Rapture on Sesame Street whilst LCD Soundsystem hurled trash cans at them to egg them on. And after claiming Rocket Bar as their own throughout 2007, most of them then branched out into other equally successful side projects: Dave teamed up with Caitlin to form a semi-acoustic act by the name of Kittyhawk before teaming up with Sam and a pack of twizzlestick arthouse bohemians to form the ridiculously awesome Skeletons. Both Sam and Art spun discs between the Bull & Bear and the Ed Castle, before Art started up a youtube channel devoted to the comedy goldmine that is Z-grade cinema. And as for what's become of the A-grade candy shred of Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! in the interim? (I mean seriously, two and a half stars!?) I believe this infamous scene from Human Traffic rather neatly sums it all up..
Damn! what happened Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!? Slow, ponderous and depressing, melancholy in minimalism, guitars and sparse keys that drag on for over 8 minutes without going anywhere? oooooh maaan this shit blows! But wait.. let's not jump to any overly ridiculous conclusions here, clearly there's a perfectly rational explanation for this: do we blame it on the curse of the "second album"? point in the vague direction of Edward Furlong and Macaulay Culkin and laugh hysterically? or are they simply just sick of the old and frustrated with the new? I know it's far from it for a burnt out hack like me to accuse them of jumping the shark (talk about the pot about calling the kettle black!), but I'm still clueless as to what I should make of all this slow-mo morose "Brian Eno" junk they're cooking up of late. Is this a bold new artistic direction? are they stuck in limbo? or am I just not "getting it"? hmmm guess we'll have to wait and see..
Feeling altogether drained by the whole experience (and thinking that perhaps it was just Matt Hayward playing space invaders with the lighting rig again that got my mind all messed up), I spent the next half hour attempting to absorb vitamin D from the barside ornamental lamp..
..only to gain infinitely more cheer drinking myself to oblivion here at the Ed Castle.
Of course I could've chosen to include a video here of me skolling an entire jug of pale ale in only 23 seconds (if you wrote a blog THIS fucked up each week you'd understand why) but hey, who am I to brag? The look on the faces of these two happy customers says it all.. fuck yeaah! :)
Adelaide, alive and kicking and kicking me in the balls and all I want to do is curl up in a corner and collapse dead? Oh yes kiddies, this "Mad March" festive season is faaaaar from over!