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...
KYTES OF OMAR + THE MOURNING SONS + LYLA LIVE @ THE ED CASTLE / Friday October 9th 2009
Yes this is the fourth night in a row I've been "blessed" with a night at The Ed Castle. And yes THIS on top of the whole Groundhog Day theme I experience every fucking weekend IS driving me ever so "slightly" batshit insane. And by slightly? yeaaah I think you get the point by now. I swear I looked everywhere else for other options. I'm here for the bands, I'm always here for the bands, WHY DID THE BANDS ALWAYS HAVE TO BE HERE!? No really it was either this shit or that Abracadabra relaunch at Rocket Bar (ie: where gig photographers go to die) or that other slamming humdinger at Jade Monkey (ie: the one that would involve me writing up a second "review" of The Amcats for a second week in a row.. YEAAAS I love repetition!). And so here I am instead, at the fucking Ed Castle!? FUCKING HELL!! Yup the way I see it, the way I said it last week, it's just like an event horizon around here. You know like the edge of a blackhole? like where not even light can escape? except The Ed Castle's especially attuned to trapping my fragile sanity in a fuckarse sequence of red, black, blue and yellow lights in a loop till my fucking head explodes!? YES!! FUCK I LOVE IT HERE!! But no this episode isn't just about me and the last three marbles swimming about in my swiss cheese skull. Yeah ok maybe it IS? shit when isn't it!? No this is about the Adelaide scene and what's sorely lacking of late: "diversity". Yeah ok, maybe it's just me suffering a fullblown October hangover after a fuckoff insane September (duuude!) but lemme tell you there's more to this scene than just another "awesome" indie/electro fashion parade and scenster dancefloor frenzy. And the sooner we acknowledge that the better! DIVERSITY PEOPLE!! Take tonight for instance: three of the best ROCK (not indie/electro) acts you could ever hope for and where was everyone!? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!? Diversity maaan! we need to protect that shit now like never before, we need to protect it like the fucking pandas otherwise we'll have nothing left but crappy Bloc Party clones to fuck us up five ways till forever AND NOBODY WANTS THAT!!
LYLA (****) myspace :: Yeak ok, so admittedly I might have stepped into a "freak anomaly" here in the Adelaide scene, so excuse all my insane ramblings (y'know if you hadn't already) since most of the time we actually have it pretty good around here (remember Crank It Festival late last weekend!? well of course you didn't cause I never blogged about it you eeiiidiots!). I mean shit, maybe we're witness to one of those "dead Friday nights" that no amount of facebook event invites, street press, radio, twitter updates, or SMS is gonna do a fuck about. No really, let's just run through THAT nightmare scenario shall we? As much as I'm aware of Uni holidays ended last weekend, that's your first nail in the coffin. Even better it was a LONG weekend too so now everyone's flat broke. Then there's the fact that this show ISN'T launching an EP, an album, a single or even a seven inch vinyl. Better yet it's not a farewell gig either. There's no Triple J or Transmission DJs to support it, there's no Plus One, Abracadabra, or whatever-the-fuck to get all the fashion tragics flocking to be "seen".. doing what? I'm never too sure but apparently it involves getting hilariously shitfaced drunk and having the fuck tagged out of you in facebook.. YEAAAS!! (and to think I STILL wonder why this site's ever so popular with you nitwits?). Better yet there's not an indie/electro band in sight to dance like a retard to (need I keep mentioning that!?) and need we mention the unseasonably cold weather!? Yeah probably not. Let's face it this night was doomed right from the start, but still you gotta give our opening act credit they DO give it their utmost regardless (yeah you're wondering when I was going to get them now weren't you!?). Lyla. A little over a month ago they packed this place to the fucking ceiling to launch their new single "All Dressed Up And No Release". Tonight they're audience to maybe twenty to thirty tops, the infamous "rent-a-crowd" special, and yup THIS is the most action this room will see all night. Awesome! Still it does nothing to diminish their sound or their energy. Make no mistake this shit's a rolicking wall to wall sixties "revival rock" of the best possible kind. It's everything you loved about The Beatles and The Stones, all the britpop buzz of Supergrass, Oasis and The Kooks, they even wipe the slate clean of everything you always hated about Jet (and that's saying something!). It's gunning guitars, rhythm, keys and gang vocals hammered out loose as fuck and yet focused into nailing precision again and again with professional ease. They're killing it, every damn song. The crowd (or what passes for one tonight) is lapping it up in spades but it's obviously an uphill battle. It's just one of those nights. And it's not because of Matthew Minucci on leads and that ridiculous hat he's wearing (he's even calling himself the fucking train engine driver tonight.. true story!), or even Sammy Bruno pulling his very "best" Miami Vice impersonation on bass: if anything that only adds to the hilarious awesomeness that is Lyla (come for the music, stay to make fun of their dysfunctional dress sense!). No it's just one of those nights. Finishing up with their release single "All Dressed Up And No Release" they hurl their instruments and storm off stage. With Matt's continuing to ring out a sustained pedal delay for at least three minutes after he's left the building, until guitarist Anthony Callisto returns to "pull the plug". A symbolic gesture if ever I saw one for the night that was soon to follow.
THE MOURNING SONS (*****) myspace :: Which brings us to our second act from Melbourne. They drove eight hours to be here, to play to THIS room tonight, to all of.. fuck I dunno? the five or so "people" (not including me or the mixer) and a grand symphony orchestra in chirping crickets and buzzing insects that remained!? FUCK YEAAAH!! Clearly everyone else had already fled in Lyla's wake, they were long gone, they knew a sinking ship when they saw one. And although circumstances did slightly "improve" over the following forty five minutes (ie: when the barstaff dragged in next to every single homeless person they could find with offers to raid the "candy stash" they keep for the touring DJs on Saturday nights.. wait, did I just say that out loud!?) it was still a sight for sore eyes. And to add further irony to insult? this may have also been the most FUCKOFF AWESOME band I've ever seen play this room since The Middle East toured here back in late February. I shit you not duuudes, they were THAT head explodingly insane! and almost every ONE of you dribbling fools missed it!? sheeiiit! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TONIGHT!? Yup I don't care if this was the proverbial tree falling in the woods, and it hit every street mime on the way down, and nobody was around to twitter it? I'm still gonna make damn sure you hear about them! Look that shit up: The Mourning Sons, it'll make your fucking month I swear! In essence they're a feral as fuck rock band. Only don't let that ever deter you because they're the BEST kind of feral there ever is. We're talking the golden age of nineties fuckoff feral. We're talking wall to wall gutteral screams, feedbacking guitars (all earbleeding into a million incandescent frequencies) and a fucking hostile shit-kicking rhythm section driven with absolute derision and disdain. Even weirder? all of this psychosis is layered over something that sounds downright "accessible" in a verse/chorus dynamic. As such I'd equate them to the filthiest extremes of Queens Of The Stone Age (especially from Era Vulgaris). Everything from Motörhead, Spiderbait, The Vines and Bleach era Nirvana thrown into a veritable chum bucket and set alight. Or even crazier? they're just like what you'd imagine Nick Oliveri would sound like, all nude, crude and deranged, fronting first album Kasabian only with all the distortion pedals turned way up to "awesome". THAT'S The Mourning Sons. It kills on two counts tonight. Firstly for just how unbelievably corrosive it all sounds. Everything here is tuned gritty as fuck, rusted, wailing, shrieking, shredding and grinding in a hideous shit grinning discord, like it's every single eye gouging scene out of Fight Club thrown into a rock tumbler. Secondly for just how infectious it still comes off in its diabolical delivery. There's an underlying, dare I say it "britpop" quality here that kicks it forward, coupled with a volatile primordial kick that makes you want to murder everything in sight. Fronted by lead singer Dave Fazza who looks like every caveman cliche come to life and sounding like a cross between Kurt Cobain and Thurston Moore, backed by a police lineup from the mean streets of Melbourne making balloon animals out of our smaller intestines, with an upcoming debut album "Pipedreams" produced by none other than Dean Turner the former bass player from Magic Dirt (they even dedicated a song to him) and the very fact that they played this room filled with less than fifteen people tonight!? is downright insane! Hmmm maybe if they introduced a fashion-tragic "Flock Of Seagulls" with a keytar, some laser lights, threw in Luke Steele prancing about on a fuckload of whizz-fizz and played a Saturday night they'd pull more crowds. No on second thoughts that'd be the last thing we ever need! The Mourning Sons. They're JUST the band we were looking for: only in the wrong place and at the wrong night. But rest assured their time WILL come, and the sooner that time comes? the better it'll be for us all!
And before we dive into taking the absolute piss out of our headlining act (ie: in more ways than they deserve but we've always come to expect from a site as dribblingly disreputable as this one FUCK YEAH!!) a bit of a "back story" may be in order. You see, for the past few months Kytes Of Omar had all but disappeared from the live scene, and in doing so joined a long list of other awesome Adelaide acts who'd all but disappeared too (damn you!) figuring it'd be much safer to "work on their upcoming album" than face the ninth level of hell that was winter in Adelaide this year (aka: "The Great Drought Of 2009", aka: NO REALLY? do I need to remind you of what THAT was like!?). Thankfully however they finally made their triumphant return at the Crank It Festival last Saturday. A festival which in hindsight would've been all kinds of awesome to feature in this blog if only I wasn't suffering the most monumental bout of "writer's burnout": thanks in no small part to that epic eleven artist write-up I cooked up three weeks ago (duuude!), only to surely kill myself retarded if ever I was insane enough to review the seventeen subsequent bands for Crank It Festival. So instead I went with The Amcats: and you know what? *cough* I STILL stick by my decision! As such if you saw Kytes Of Omar last weekend, you wouldn't need reminding how fuckoff epic it was. That moment when Anthony Candlish's finger bled all over his guitar!? DUUUDE!! and as much as I promised myself I wouldn't take any photos of it? yeaaah let's face it I couldn't help myself. If ever there was a reason to see a live band again tonight, THIS here would be it!
KYTES OF OMAR (****) myspace :: So fast forward to tonight's set: six nights after they left the stage at The Crown & Anchor to rapturous applause, hoping for maybe a little more of the same "action" tonight. I mean it's not too much to ask for an aspiring Adelaide act? It's not too out of the ordinary is it!? It's a Friday night in the height of Spring, the city's exploding all around us in a riot of colour and excitement, we're here at the "hippest happening'est" live venue in all the west end (with the possible exception of all the other ones). Anything could happen maaan! No shit, remember that Saturday night here just two weeks ago when The Shiny Brights headlined!? HEAD EXPLODING MADNESS I TELL'S YA!! I mean shit dudes, Anthony's even cleaned up his guitar all nice and shiny again, pulled all the strings out to get to all the chunky bits and everything: and you totally know what that means right!? HE'S TOTALLY GUNNING FOR AN ENCORE TONIGHT!! FUCK YEAAAH!! But alas: instead of being greeted by a roaring shrieking mass of ripe adulation tonight (and perhaps even a frontline all decked out in shiny white raincoats giggling in giddy anticipation for the "main event") we're witness to nothing but abject emptiness, a blackening void, a whistle blown despair. We're witness to what's possibly been the most diabolical "dead spot" in all The Ed Castle's short history since that infamous Saturday night incident back in November that I blamed on a freak combination of a zombie apocalypse, chemical weapons attack and whatever the fuck I ate the night before (I believe it had pickles on it?) BECAUSE I SWEAR THAT'S WHAT TOTALLY HAPPENED! Still there was only one thing Kytes Of Omar could do against such impossible odds (short of reinventing themselves as yet another throwaway indie/electro band with a handclap chorus to every song) and that was to play like their lives depended on it, or at the very least sneak in a gig rehearsal tonight because let's face it? who's gonna know either way!? Thankfully however it was much more the former as they made the most of a fucked up situation. With a setlist virtually identical to the one they performed at Crank It Festival they tore into song after song with grim determination. Anthony on vocals, a wall of sound in unearthly howls, shrieks and hysterical cat calls: singing like he was performing an exorcism on himself. Joe Russo on lead guitar shredding his axe like never before: unleashing a riot of spastic bleeps, blips and exciteable machine gun glitches like a Tom Morello impersonation gone horribly right. Whilst both Michael Iuliano on bass and Matt "Frank" Boulden on drums tore up the rhythm section like they were in a mad rush to get out of there (and I mean hell.. would you blame them!?). Overall it was the same signature sound as always (ie: think Queens Of The Stone Age meets Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with a hint of shitcrazy sixties surf rock) but what was most notable in this set were the curious deviations, the depth and range they dabbled into in exploring all the extremes from garage and stoner fuzz rock. From new song "Crayons" that managed to not only ape the energy of Tame Impala's "Half Full Glass Of Wine" but threw in an added edge of paranoia and intensity. To "On Me" sung by Joe Russo that took on a distinctive Vampire Weekend flavour but twisted it with an added layer of grime. To the always popular "Soldier" in closing, like a classic Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cut (and no less ominous), sounding ever more apt in the dire surrounds they found themselves in. Yup this set obviously took its toll on them, you could see it on their faces, and yet like true battle hardened veterans they fought that shit to the very end. The crowd doubled, nay tripled from five to fifteen in their presence. And in the end damnit they emerged beaten but never broken!
1:45AM - Still it wasn't all grim tidings out there, far from it. As much Kytes Of Omar might have had all the impossible odds stacked against them, they DID have this one exciteable idiot (who I'm told is apparently a bouncer at The Exeter!? duuude!) and all of his hilarious fuckup friends cheering them on through thick and thin. No shit, this freak simply couldn't get enough of it!
I mean just look at that raw dedication, that total disregard for occupational health and safety! OOOOH YEAH!! that's just the kind of devotion a band could only but dream of in their darkest hour and yet here they are giving it their all!? *Sniff* I know, I totally got something in my eye too! (no wait, that's just a piece of broken glass.. hmmm maybe I should get that looked at?).
Either way it's individuals like these: whether they simply be fans for life, "back teeth floating", or veritably overflowing with excess chromosome damage (pfft.. who THIS guy!?) that can truly turn a tide in your band's favour. They can make the worst of it still seem worthwhile! Sure Anthony here may be looking five kinds of fucked off by the whole experience but after this grinning lummocks has given him the once over with a complimentary backrub? duuude he'll be nothing but smiles!
And the minute that last note dropped, he promptly followed their lead and collapsed in a foaming puddle on the floor, spending every last fibre of his being exploding like a madman!? I mean what an inspiration, what a hero for us all! Yup, I don't know about you, but let's steal his shoes and his wallet and let's get the fuck out of here before he wakes up again.. THE DRINKS ARE ON US!!
2:17AM - Yeah I know what you're thinking, short of that ONE dude making an hilarious dick of himself this night was a total fucking disaster right? But mark my words we wrung every last drop out of this proverbial stone and we drank it dry. Then fuck it, we shook it some more and we kept on drinking, physics be damned! Sure it was all murky and brown, then black and powdery, then we had to smash it to bits with a sledgehammer and then a whole lot of it went down the wrong way (and I'm still coughing up a whole lot of it) but we never accepted defeat this night, OOOH FUCK NO!! we claimed nothing but sweet victory! Let this drumkit be our triumph, our Gallipoli (umm.. no wait), our Vietnam (no that can't be right?), or maybe our War On Terror (arrr fuck it!) I mean sure a tumbleweed may've blown past here moments after we took this photo.. but still, a triumph!
2:21AM - But it didn't have to be this bad, it never has to get this grim! Sure it was unseasonably cold tonight, sure everyone might've been flat broke (necking all those pills before Parklife must have cost you a pretty penny!), sure there was probably a thousand other legitimate reasons for why you didn't go out tonight, I don't doubt that for a second (I mean pfft.. why would you ever need to leave the house at night if I'm always coughing up all these hilarious blogs? it's like you're TOTALLY there duuude!). But then we forget the real victims here, people like Joe Russo. All he knows how to do is to play guitar in a rock band. I mean just look at him: he can barely stand upright, tie his own shoelaces or speak in complete sentences (and we're constantly hosing down the walls and ceiling because for some inexplicable reason nobody ever thought to toilet train him) but he's a really good guitarist! And you wouldn't want to deprive him of THAT now would you!?
And you totally needn't have to either. For little over $5 a live show you could sponsor him or other musicians quite like quite him. Give him a purpose in life, give him enough money to buy beer, guitar strings, perhaps some shoelaces, adult diapers or maybe even that porno he was really into (it had clowns in it, everyone loves clowns!) it all makes a difference! And no, you totally don't even need to sponsor him either, or even his band, I mean Kytes Of Omar? pfft.. who the fuck are they!? (wait didn't I give them four stars? weeeird!), there's STILL a live band or even just a solo artist somewhere in this Adelaide scene of ours playing SOMETHING you'll be into (yes even that shit you never owned up about) with just a little support we can ensure that nights like this need never happen EVER again (except maybe to bands we don't all that much). Think. Act. Make a difference! Then get hilariously drunk with us afterwards. You'll feel a whole lot better about it!
2:29AM - Speaking of such that's exactly what we did afterwards at Supermild, partially because we always fucking go here (ie: beyond the point that me making a joke about it being "beyond a joke" actually stops being funny.. or maybe it's come full circle again, who the fuck knows?) but also because The Ed Castle had already closed for the night (FUCK YEAAAH BEST NIGHT EVER!!). Either way it was anyone's guess what the vibe was going to be like in here tonight. You see for the past few weeks, Friday night's have become a somewhat "unpredictable" variable at Supermild. Sure most nights it's nothing but hysterical awesomeness and you waking up the next day accidently owning a controlling interest in a multinational corporation or two. But sometimes however (especially recently) it's rather like grabbing both hind legs of a donkey and inflating it loudly through its "disco stick". Hmmm maybe it's got something to do with alternating DJ sets? But since clearly we had nothing left to lose tonight we thought fuck it we'd hit it up anyways!
2:51AM - First clear sign this was going to be a "bad" night at Supermild, or maybe this means it'll be an awesome night? (wait, how ridiculously retarded drunk am I right now!?) would be the sight of everyone's favourite exploding brain injury Joe Blogs. Enjoying a "quiet drink" with some random dude who I've either never met before in my entire life, met once whilst exceedingly drunk, or I've seen out and about countless times before only to never remember his freaking name. Hmmm. Either way, if previous experience has taught me anything he'll probably add me on facebook anyways.. because hell, that shit NEVER becomes a cliche! Oh and I should also note for the sake of my own rapidly deteriorating sanity (ie: writing up these hilarious captions) this'll be the first and only appearance Joe Blogs will make in this episode tonight. Relieved? oooh you have no idea!
3:20AM - Second sign that I've got no idea which direction Supermild's going tonight but I'm still writing about it regardless would be bumping into Simone here (aka: "the bane of my blogging existence", aka: see the six billion OTHER episodes she's appeared in anyways.. why? aaah why the fuck not!?). Oh and I wish I could explain WHY we look so weirdly "normal" in this photo as obviously we must be completely gargling shitfaced out of our skulls by now, except to possibly blame the camera. Yeah you know how these wacky compact cameras are like sometimes with all that fuckoff auto focus, anti-shake, red-eye reduction crap: clearly I flicked the wrong switch here.
Is this better? pfft.. oh of course it is! To think I accidently had the thing set to "beer goggle"!?
3:57AM - Which by obvious extension leads to this mad explosion of awesomatude out in the beer garden (inexplicably featuring members from Jay Walker And The Pedestrians.. go figure?) which I've since christened "Mount Slushmore". FUCK YEAAAH!! And need I explain that in effort to obtain such "eye gouging brilliance": every one of us had the pull the stupidest facial expression imagineable!? of course not.. because clearly we look this shitfaced retarded all the damn time!
Yup, I might have only seen Jay Walker And The Pedestrians once back in April (been meaning to see them again since) but I gotta hand it to them they DO know how to pull a fucked up facial just like the professionals.. or wait, is that ginger gimp even IN Jay Walker & The Pedestrians!? Seriously what the fuck is going on tonight. I swear this whole scene's gone down the toilet again!
3:59AM - And as two people who may or may not be in Jay Walker And The Pedestrians point exciteably at exactly what? I have no fucking idea!? And one Simone who obviously isn't in any band that I know of but keeps threatening to form one just so I'll post even more entirely ridiculously photos of her (YOU FIEND!!) joins in on all the "hilarity" (I know isn't she awesome!?) I figured there was only one thing I can do from here on in and that's drink myself into a coma.
4:36AM - Yup, I really can't understand for the life of me why hardly anyone went out tonight. I mean it was a Friday night ferfucksake!? IT'S THE WEEKEND YO!! Think of all the whizz-bang excitement you missed out on? all the crazy adventures!? all the.. um.. wait, where the did everyone go!? Or maybe I simply picked every WRONG place to be tonight. Hmmm I wonder when The Touch are playing next? I bet people will totally turn up for that shit.. OOOH FUCK YEAH!!
Yup, I think it was just one of those fucked up Friday nights. Sure we could find any lame excuse to explain it all away: maybe it's a "fashion" thing, maybe all those wacky indie/electro nights popping up every-fucking-where are so wildly successful with all the scenster tragics that we've since forgotten that other bands and other genres STILL exist out there. I mean don't get me wrong I love that crap as much as the next person, but there's like a whole other scene out there duuude! WE NEED DIVERSITY DAMNIT!! Or maybe that's a whole pile of crap, I mean there were tonnes of hilarious freaks out last weekend flooding everywhere but The Ed Castle on a Saturday night for everything under the sun from spastic funk, metal to jazz. So maybe it's just the unseasonable weather fucking things up this week: a perfect storm of illbient ice age proportions, a throwback to the winter wastelands of mid July and August. Or maybe it's just October kicking my arse in retaliation for how good September was. Maaaybe? I mean who the fuck knows!? Either way I swear if I get another dead Friday like this at The Ed Castle!? I'm SO moving to Tasmania.