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...
ROCKET SCIENCE + I HEART HIROSHIMA + SAILORS AND SWINE LIVE @ JIVE / Friday May 9th 2008
Jive: against all the dives, crapshacks, hellholes and open scatterings of human detritus that dare spill out over western way; against all the disorder, dire discordance, chaos and ruin, ripening tall plumes ashen white to eyes moist squinting and nostrils flared; it stands as the one the only that commands the utmost of respect. Jive: the Helm's Deep of Hindley, the Guantanamo of rock, the Soup Nazi of the Adelaide music scene. This mighty rectilinear shoebox in bold blues and arching reds host to such majesty, such splendour, standing ever so tall against the barbarian cascade. Many are your riches in muppetting purple, curtains of velvetly red, walls of golden yellow and aqua pure, chickens of rubber, foosball of waterlog and beers of plastique. Echo this our clarion calls oh Jive into your hundred fold squealing sirens and most heavenly of constellations, make our balcony views second to none, bring us swift death to those that ever dare to fall astray from your luminous path! We speak not of our good fortune for such a sweet bastion of rock as this, we question not of your bar staff and their infinite patience and wisdom, we live only in fear prostrate before you, for that one day that you will show us the way to absolution!
Such as we find ourselves this Friday, humbled in our hundreds amongst their lights turned ever so low and ominous. Nary a whimper, nor squeak, nor a fart distress from lip or quivering crevice this night. For we've all heard tales of the piling bodies they keep behind that bar, the nightly feasts, the freshly dug cement out back where they bury them enmasse, all those freshly painted faces on the walls out back of those who didn't fall in line. We know we do not speak of such things out here at Jive, we know they're watching us even now, but we all come to taste that terror, we all come to savour it, and for a lineup like this; how could you blame us?
SAILORS AND SWINE (****) myspace :: Speaking of such imminent threat to our mortal souls, this opening act fits the doom and gloom here tonight quite like sadsack blackened photos of Gerard Way or Jaret Leto fit a myspace teen suicide statistic (oh yes, I went there!). Sailors And Swine: they're a Nick Cave cover bands from Melbourne that refuse to stick to any songs actually written by Nick Cave. Throw in everything from The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman into an oversized blender, jam the lid on tight as the arms and legs of your hapless victims flail and scream to be let free and proceed to blast it at full power for a good 4-5 minutes at a time. Throw in a cleverly disguised Owen Eszeki on bass (former frontman from Bit By Bats) rocking a drunken Wyatt Earp moustache by way of a 19th century barbershop quartet. Then front it with a crazy haired Ron Perlman impersonator fresh from a Tim Burton insane asylum. Cue the bug eyes, the inebriated Elvis swagger, the arm swinging, the pointing, the sneering and the unholy baboon shrieking; play it so freakingly loud the floor gives way before you to a gaping wound straight to hell and you have quite possibly the singularly most awesome gallows rock outside of the Devil pissing on the smoking remains of Jesus H Christ down a bullet riddled back alley in Tijuana..
Like all the best b-grade horror movies before them (ie: before the advent of shittyarse CGI), theirs is a blind terror best experienced blind and in the dark. You never quite see the beast coming at you: a reaching claw, a shadow, a glimpse; not before it's too late. Yet you'll seek this band out in the darkest corners like a lemming to a microwave. You'll seek it out even though the audience screams at you: "don't go in there, that's where the cheerleader and the entire football team got eaten!". You'll seek it out beyond the grave when all that is left is a pair of glowing eyes, and spectral rags. Damn. If only I had a tub of popcorn and a few extra human sacrifices to send down that fiery pit before me, we'd have ourselves a picnic tonight!
I HEART HIROSHIMA (****) myspace :: Which is what makes this second act all the more welcoming (and by title all the more apt). As they swing into this post apocalyptic wasteland all fluffy, puppy tailed and brain damaged quite like an icecream van crash landing at a funeral. I Heart Hiroshima (or why I stopped worrying and learned to love the indie pop) could clumsily be described by drawing upon my usual stock standard (patent pending) "ipod listener's thesaurus" of 90's indie fuzzz grunge and garage references, ie: cue everything from The Breeders, Pavement, The Pixies to the sound of a few dozen badly dubbed cassette tapes falling out've your hessian rucksack attempting to do a "rail grind" outside a suburban shopping centre. More accurate however would be in equating them to the following seemingly unrelated experiences: (1) snarfing an entire packet of coco-pops raw (sans milk) from one of those teeny tiny 5-sort fun packs, (2) a 6" bread roll halved and filled with a packet of chips, (3) two-minute noodles, (4) Kraft cheese slices freshly peeled from the single serving plastic, (4) a busted up old Nintendo gameboy, (5) Sonic The Hedgehog, (6) one of those keyring Rubix Cubes, or (7) indie film "Juno" complete with a novelty Hamburger phone. I Heart Hiroshima: they may be geeky, gangly, awkward, shriekingly discordant (and missing a bass player) but damn aren't they just the most awesome candy fuzz for your ears..
In any other given performance you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering just how the hell this car crash with the precision steering of a supermarket trolley manages to hit all the right notes time and time again. This becomes even more apparent tonight, when we're told by the drummer Susie: that Cam (the guitarist on the left) has been struck down with a flu so nasty today that they barely made to this live stage tonight. Couple this with Matt (the guitarist on the right) singing like all of puberty struck him violently in the space of 5 minutes, whilst Susie (a few pills short of a prescription) leers bug-eyed and drooling on the drums and tonight we have quite the lethal combination. Oh so utterly bent, yet oh so freakingly inspired!
ROCKET SCIENCE (****1/2) myspace :: And speaking of head injuries here comes the headlining act, Rocket Science (and you'll realise just how much of a cheap shot that WAS when you read the rest of this review.. yeeooouch!). Rocket Science. Many of you may remember this Melbourne four piece act from three brilliantly insane album releases: "Welcome to the 3C10", "Contact High" and "Eternal High", however of infinite more notoriety is lead singer Roman Tucker's freakish ability to cheat death. Word on the street is that he struck his head falling down a flight of stairs at party four years ago, fell into a two week coma, only to return to the prime material plane with his mind wiped blank of every single song he'd ever written. You'd think this was a freak occurence, a once in a million, but only if you'd never seen them play live. Rocket Science. On record they're akin to the BBC's entire special effects budget colliding with the B52's on a mad hit of mescaline (or in other words a whole kitchen sink of 60's mod and sci-fi punk so shitcrazy they're beyond the scope of even my efforts to pinpoint them); whilst watching them live is an entirely more horrifying beast to behold. Think theramins and psychotic breaks, Think Jekyl & Hyde licking a power socket, think a Madhatter's Ball with chainsaws, think Tim Brook Taylor of The Goodies freaking out over Sex Pistol's "God Save The Queen", or simply think of Jack The Ripper as portrayed by Iggy Pop slam dancing at a children's party; either way? OOOH FUCK WE'RE GONNA DIE!!
Yup, neither the combined delusions of Bram Stoker nor Mary Shelly floundering in an opium den could ever hope to survive something quite as freakingly (brilliantly) unhinged as THIS..
Still after all you have seen I know what you're all thinking, I know what you're dying to know: you're all wondering what kind of illbient, quasi paranormal, freakyarse effect an extended trip to wonderland would have on a man such as this. Procognition, telepathy, telekenisis, the ability to pick up Foxtel through your left nipple? I mean shit, just waking up after two weeks only to realise you're the lead singer of Rocket Science has gotta do a David Helfgott number on ya. But alas, it appears there's absolutely no sign of that brand of shitcrazy here tonight..
*cough* Yup, such was the uplifting inspiration this band of merry misfits provided for us all, many in the audience soon chose to follow suit with their very own fitting homage..
Whilst Roman Tucker goes for the encore again and again, head first and arms flailing, safe in the knowledge that quite like Keith Richard, he can no longer be killed by conventional weapons..
Such was the blind terror that Rocket Science wraught upon our mortal souls this night. Such was the unnaccounted for piling of dead bodies Jive's bar staff disposed of into the parking lot afterwards. *Phew* how any of us made it out've here in one piece is anyone's guess?
1:38AM - Feeling all kinds of lucky to be alive after such a harrowing experience, I did what anyone else would do in my position: find any and all means possible to shorten that life even further; as I wandered dazed and confused in search of it here at Producers Bar.
2:15AM - Only to find myself down here at The Exeter moments later..
2:21AM - Only to find an equally dazed and confused Matt from I Heart Hiroshima, wandering down Union Street in search of his very own dribbling downward trajectory to oblivion..
2:39AM - Only to do what any photojournalist would do in my position: throw him into the Cranka, ply him with enough alcohol (and other such illbient substances) to anaesthetise an ox, harvest all his vital organs, before dumping his still twitching body in the dumpsters. Or at least I would've if a certain female bartender from Producers Bar (who I wont name) hadn't dragged him home for milk and cookies instead (or at least that's what I THINK she did? *cough*)
Thus concludes yet another Friday night that starts out at Jive with such a well thought out (and dare I say it fiendishingly clever) narrative introduction, only to collapse at the end: a mess of drunken gibberish, lost time and wildly fictionalised ramblings (*sigh* just like it always does). Hmmm, if this were any other blog you think this'd be me trying to make a point here? :)