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...
THE.KILL.BOT.FACTORY (**1/2) myspace :: Yup the truth is tonight, when I saw just how much shit was on offer? I totally freaked out, I totally flipped the fuck out, it was just too much for my teeny tiny pickled brain to handle let alone make a clear decision on! I mean fuck duuude I'm only one person here.. how in the hell am I gonna choose ONE and not piss off all the others!? (and we're only on the first night of a long weekend too!? AWWWW CRAP!!). I mean I could've seen Dan Kelly's Dream Band launch their album at The Ed Castle supported by none other than Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! and Fake Tan.. it's easily the pick of the bunch and I know it (except it involves yet another gig AT The Ed Castle for the third week in a row and I needn't tell you how that would turn out). Or I could've seen Ride Into The Sun play The Grace Emily along with Stu Thomas Paradox and Van Cleef (except I've already SEEN Ride Into The Sun nine times as it is this year.. GUH!!). Or I could've gone to the Jade Monkey to catch "Ex-Pats Attack!": a show featuring Wiley Red Fox (Clemi Wetherall, formerly from Zeta), Anthony Wignall (from The Keepsakes) and Mark Anstey (from who the fuck knows where?) doing the whole "heartfelt" semi acoustic indie pop thing and it would've been ridiculously awesome too! (except I already did that shit at the Jade Monkey LAST WEEK). Or I could've seen Quiet Child at Producers Bar supported by Breaking Orbit, The Venice Whalers and Shiloh (except that would totally involve me reviewing Shiloh again.. eeeesh!). Or I could've gone "Bingo Noir/Confessional Bingo" at Higher Ground featuring none other than Anya "Shitcrazy" Mcnicol-Windram and her band Bird Wizdom while roaming hoards of performing artists totally melt my face off with five kinds of fuckoff eclectic theatrical weirdness (hmmm lemme see? I've barely slept all week.. so that would probably KILL ME!!). And who the fuck knows what's going on over at Squatters Arms tonight (one day Paul.. ONE DAY!!). So instead I'm hiding out here at Enigma Bar bugging the fuck out and aren't we so glad I made that decision too!? cause now I'm reviewing this band: The.Kill.Bot.Factory.. YEAAAS!! Who the fuck are they? HA HA HA WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!? I mean why ELSE would I be rambling on about everything else BUT THEM to fill up a paragraph just now!? for laughs!? Obviously I don't even know shit on where to start with this band (except to apologise profusely for just how clueless it's going to sound) but if there Triple J Unearthed site is anything to go by? they're totally meant to sound like a cross between Enter Shikari, Pendulum and Nine Inch Nails. Awesome! Except as much as I know nothing about Enter Shakiri I DO know they sound NOTHING like Pendulum or Nine Inch Nails. Instead they pretty much sound like what you'd expect from Enigma Bar on a Friday night: a lot of mad intestinal screaming, shredding guitars, double kick drumming and gutteral doom droning mixed together in a schizophrenic dog's breakfast of heavy metal theatrics and neandering psychosis. Better yet their stage lighting is next to nonexistent, so you can hardly see shit in a camera lens either save for their lead singer Luke Buckle going all ADHD about the stage like a caged animal while the rest of the band thrash and flail around him. Or in other words? they truly are a gig photographer's worst nightmare. Still to their credit they ARE an enthusiastic bunch, they're giving it all they've got, there's a raging teen scream "rent-a-crowd" assembled out front all decked out in glow stick bracelets losing their shit for them (so they're probably doing something right) and on the odd occassion there are some nice ideas in here as long as you don't mind how ridiculously jumbled it all feels (for one I don't get HOW this sounds like Nine Inch Nails? and I AM a big fan of theirs.. but to hell with it! add a point if I'm waaay off the mark here). Yup that's The.Kill.Bot.Factory. It's all gibberish to me, but if you love being screamed at point blank inside of a cement mixer while a warehouse rave party explodes around you.. you're gonna LOVE THIS!!
THE KILLGIRLS (****) myspace :: Our second act however I know considerably more about. I've been following their shit now for almost three years, they're the main reason why I chose Enigma Bar in the first place (short of the fact I thought it'd be hilarious to ditch all the other gigs in preference to it) they're the closest thing that the Adelaide scene has in the way of a "slam dunk" (or at least according to my "laughable" understanding of it). They absolutely KILL every single time I see them live and YES they're just as head explodingly awesome on record (better than shotgunning a can of redbull I swear!) and it very much surprises me even now that they haven't been signed to a record label yet (or perhaps they have and I'm simply not aware of it). And obviously I have the evidence to back it up too. Lest we forget that fuckoff insane launch party they threw for their debut EP back in May last year: promoted months in advance by a "Year Zero" style online interactive marketing campaign hosted on facebook (which ended with a bunch of fans being kidnapped outside of Dangerfield on Rundle Street, thrown into a passing van and taken to a "private listening party".. I shit you not!) only to pack Queen's Theatre floor to ceiling with hundreds of screaming fans on the night, a Daft Punk pyramid's worth of stage lighting and sound; and they even brought in a hot tub too? FUUUCK OFF!! Or how could we forget their on stage appearance at this years Fringe Festival opening night party to 40,000 people with an African choir and a host of pink tutu dancing astronauts!? (I mean I wasn't there personally, but you should've seen the photos maaan.. IT WAS INSANE!!). No clearly this isn't a band that does shit by half measures; even when they're NOT launching or promoting anything (although if you're curious: they just released a new single "I Love You" a month ago, for an upcoming second EP that they're tentatively releasing later this year). And here tonight? well despite the fact they're playing "second fiddle" in support to MM9, despite the fact their lead singer Mario Spate is whacked out with the flu (and on about a billion painkillers) they're still nothing short of diabolical; even if I DID need to sneak a word with the mixer to do something about the lighting so you could actually see anything in the photos.. "what? you mean the complete LACK of lighting!?" (no seriously dude, you're a freaking legend!). Yup this is the Killgirls. Obviously they need no introduction (as much as I gave you one anyways) but if you're otherwise unaware: think Nine Inch Nails meets The Presets meets The Klaxons (minus any "eye rolling" you might've made in me mentioning those last two bands) or simply think an adrenal gland hooked up to a Super Nintendo with the volume turned up. And for those of you who ARE familiar? well there are a few new things to be found in tonight's set. Not so much with their "new" keyboardist Hamish Cox: he's been around for a few months now but his presence is notably more prominent front of stage (less said about his laptop malfunctioning however.. the better). More so, in how much more elaborately the songs are arranged and how they join up with each other. There's more breakdowns, elaborate fills and segues on offer to give them more "dynamic range" (ie: than what previously sounded like two nipples being jacked up to a power socket for 45 minutes straight) there's even a few moments that approach "Depeche Mode" in a power ballad. Gang vocals are more prominent now, most notably with Rusty Hutchinson on guitar letting loose on the mic in the second half (I forget the song exactly.. but you'll know it when you see it) but pretty much all of them are in on it too. But even more noticeable is the jokey relaxed way in which they tear into their set. It's less a "us vs. them" combative schtick that they're rocking and more a collaborative celebration in extremes; they even throw in a cover of New Kids On The Block's "The Right Stuff" just to fuck with us near the end. They've also got a host of new songs in the lead up to their second EP: "Disconnected", "Go Wrong" and "I Love You". They draw a dancefloor of newfound fans pogo-dancing like mad front of the stage. And despite suffering through the flu, Mario doesn't throw up even ONCE whilst singing? yeaaah well I guess we can't have everything. The Killgirls. They're every reason to come to Enigma Bar tonight justified and then some.. and hey what more could you want than that!?
MM9 (****1/2) myspace :: Only for our headlining act to do one better and blow the fucking roof off tonight? yeaaah I know it was pretty much a no brainer that they WOULD; I mean shit duuude why else would they make them the "headlining act" in the first place? so they could sit on their fat arses and light farts for forty five minutes!? (aaaah but imagine the photos if ever they did!) either way? fuck damn is it awesome to be in the thick of it all the same! Yup this is MM9 (aka: Many Machines On Nine) from Sydney. Obviously I didn't know shit on them walking in, and I only learnt a few teeny tiny tidbits on them throughout the set. Firstly that they supported Karnivool on their latest tour back in July. Secondly that they've been around for twelve years now. Thirdly a good part of their soundcheck was taken up by their drummer Ben Ellingworth calibrating a "category five shitstorm" in samplers, pads and triggers wired through his drumkit. And fourthly that THIS was apparently only the third time they've ever played Adelaide in eight years (go figure?). Still as utterly clueless as I am to be here just now (let alone too lazy to research any of this shit prior to seeing them tonight) what I DO know for certain is that they make for one hell of a "first impression". Yup in the simplest of terms you could call them a mix between industrial, electro and drum & bass. Or in more exacting terms think Fear Factory mixed in with Atari Teenage Riot, Pendulum, Linkin Park (although totally NOT in a lamearse way) with what I could've sworn were rapidfire elements of mid 90's "Rotterdam" happy hardcore and a shredding brutality not too dissimilar to that found in say The Testeagles at their most psychotic. Or in other words? if you can picture the "future war" sequence out of the first Terminator movie made into a terse German rock opera as performed by a supergroup between Fischerspooner and Rammstein!? you might be getting closer to the mark. But even so it barely covers seeing it live. In the middle stands their lead singer Dan Sutherland: beardly bedraggled, alternating between clinging onto his keyboard stand for dear life like it's a pulpit or a lectern, as he lurches and leers at the crowd like an industrial goth rock "Adolf Hitler" (and seriously if it wasn't for the full beard he's sporting? he'd be a spitting image for one too) only to leap away from that shit sporadically by throwing his arms in the air "conjuring invisible spirits" like he's suddenly Mickey Mouse from Fantasia doing the "Sorcerer's Apprentice". While to either side of him stand guitarist Kerry Foulke and bass player Luke Ford in matching military black baseball caps thrashing and flailing menacingly like they both frantically trying to shake off invisible ants. While to the back of the stage Ben on drums rips out a percussive barrage riddled with double kicks, drills, rolls and syncopated drum & bass breaks like an entire artillery battalion has suddenly been let loose on our arse. And as much as all this in overwraught theatrics would normally look and feel like the stupidest (and unintentionally hilarious) ode to testosterone ever seen outside of the videogame God Of War franchise.. there's something about the 80's post apocalyptic aesthetic of Enigma Bar that lends it a real visceral sense of "shit staining terror". Firstly it's thanks to the stage lighting being plunged back into near impenetrable blackness again, only to flicker the occassional flash of red and yellow in time to the beat (which is just aaawesome when you're trying to photograph, it lemme tell you!). But slightly more "noticeable" are all the kamikaze fans packed in here, licking the ceiling tiles, spilling out onto the stage, armed outstretched, screaming and groping at the band to the point that the whole thing starts to resemble ground zero to an exploding zombie pandemic and all I've got to protect myself is a teeny tiny compact camera!? (I mean I could totally brain a skull or two with this thing but let's face it.. if ever this goes sour? I'm pretty much fucked!). Still as an overall "experience" (ever mindful it IS still classified as "light entertainment") it's a high octane adrenaline buzz that's damn hard to beat.. duuude it fucking rocks! They rip through every one of their thirteen song setlist with shit grinning glee. Every one of them feels like my skull's being punched concave by thousands of tiny fists. The crowd around me are constantly hooting and howling for more inches from my ears. MM9. They might hail from a dystopiate future where all of humanity has been hunted near to extinction by super evolved toaster ovens.. but with tunes like these? duuude they're more than welcome to party in our present tense any 'ol time!
1:09AM - With all the bands now finished for the night: I crawled out from the wreckage upstairs to discover, to my surprise, that not only did I escape relatively "unscathed" from front of stage with most of my limbs, fingers, thumbs, toes and internal organs still accounted for, but also with my sobriety too. WHOAAA FUCK!! Now I know I said it before that I was "in no mood to get drunk" tonight, and we all know that's clearly bullshit (and yes you would be entirely correct if you take the rest of the night into consideration) but there's something about Enigma Bar (completely unrelated to the fact they don't serve Coopers on tap?) that keeps me on my guard. Nope for those three or four hours that I'm in here? this ain't no "binge drinking lifestyle blog" maaan! it's a matter of business! I do my shit, I find my corner downstairs to collate and catalogue it (and delete a few hundred photos off my camera where appropriate) and then when I'm done, I'm off like a ninja!
1:30AM - Of course I could've just gone to Bull & Bear for Transmission at this point, except let's face it only an insane person would ever do that, especially sober (again already learnt that lesson THE HARD WAY). And so fuck it.. I simply went where everyone else from Rhino Room was going: The Exeter. Which I think we can all agree is the single most brilliant decision I've made all night.
1:35AM - Aaaah first beer of the night! And lemme tell no "first beer of the night" ever tastes nearly as awesome as the "first beer of the night" at The Exeter. And no I'm being paid to say that (seriously is anyone at The Exeter offering? because I'd totally be down for that) it's simply a statement of fact, "scientific fact", after many years of testing. And do you know what's almost as good as that "first beer of the night"? the second and third beers you drink soon after.. YEAAAS!!
2:51AM - Now of course I could go on to elaborate what I got upto in all the time I was here. Except I conviently "accidently" forgot to photograph any of it that would later require me to provide wacky running commentary (damn! and I believe that's the sound of next to everyone with me at the time being really "cut up" about that too AAAAHAHaHahAhAHAhAhA!!). Still for what it's worth: I did bump into a few members of Like Leaves; or perhaps all of them save for Ryan Manolakis who was likely home "washing his hair" at the time (he totally poodle perms it dontcha know!) and word is they'd just finished their album on Thursday night.. yes they've FINISHED IT! They even had a "few" quiet jagers to celebrate, which may've turned into a lot of jagers, which may've led to them celebrating here STILL at The Exeter tonight. And as for what any of this has got to do with Dan Varricchio their guitarist and Kassandra Poulos the awesomest bartender Rocket Bar has ever known comparing pointy boots right now? pfft.. what DOESN'T this have to do with anything? I mean seriously, is this just the maddest fucking photo you've ever seen OR WHAT!?
3:14AM - With all my options in the east end long gone to pasture (Crown & Anchor what now!?) there was only one thing to do.. and that was to hit the west end again. In doing so I forget how I ended up with this clump of weeds (or why I continued to carry it with me all the way down Rundle Mall) but aren't we ever so thankful I did so I could write this wacky caption for it? aaaah no shit! and to think how many of you read this crap each week to be informed of that too!? aaawesome!
3:19AM - At this point, clearly unrelated to just how many beers I might have drunk at The Exeter, I thought it'd be totally genius to hit up Transmission next. An idea that lasted all of five seconds walking upto the bouncers just now: only to be told they were closing, only for me to attempt renegotiating their terms of "closing", only to be told "where to go".. except I wasn't all that keen on going to Rocket Bar. So instead, as I entertain the bleedingly obvious? I figured I'd photograph these witches hats by the road.. aaaah excitement in the air: damn near palpable!
3:29AM - And so.. just like every other night before it, here I am at the "bleedingly obvious". And of course I have little or no memory of what the fuck happened while I was in here: as not only did I NOT take any photos to provide you the kind of "witty social commentary" you totally bookmark the shit out of my blog to read about each week (I mean how ELSE are you gonna remember what you did on a Friday night if I'm not writing about it? long term memory!? pfft.. I larf at you!) but the twitter function on my phone mysteriously broke as well (something to do with it temporarily rejecting everything but Telstra as an SMS carrier network?) so I didn't leave myself any embarassing clues online in which to piece together a vaguely factual story for you. Suffice to say it was ridiculously awesome to be here, almost as good as last Saturday night, I got totally shitfaced drunk laughing myself invalid, danced a total dick of myself on the dancefloor (with next to everyone you wish you were partying with right now) it was a total riot and a half and I'm totally planning on repeating it Saturday night when I'm not planning on blogging about it too.. YEAAAS!!
Yup, and so there we have it. Out of all the options I could've chosen, to sample the Adelaide music scene at its very finest and report back to you: shaved monkey with a web browser on everything "skull fuckingly dope" you totally missed out on tonight (and all so you could totally kick yourself repetitively and excessively in ways both anatomically improbable and innapropriate bemoaning just how much you fail at life?) I instead chose none of the above, or almost none of the above, or at the very least none you ever expected. And you wanna know why!? well obviously because I'm fucking insane.. but also because I know a great many of you DID see everything I missed out on and I don't doubt you'll tell me exactly what I missed out on, and at great length and in great detail just to spite me! And you know what? I'm perfectly ok with that shit, in fact I encourage it! Go ahead, bomb me all you want ya baaastards! For this isn't a blog on the Adelaide music scene, it couldn't possibly be maaan I'm only one person! But if we pool our shit together? we might have ourselves a dialogue.. and then!? we might actually have a blog worth reading!