Words by Rashid AlKamraikhi.
Photos by Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography.
It’s a rainy Saturday night as crew assemble at The Back Room for a night of live music curated by The Colourful Writer. Doors open at 6pm and soon after the first band of the night takes to the stage and fires up.
Blessure Graves are a new two piece act on the scene. Their set started off with a slow and menacing instrumental intro that comprises of thick distorted bass chords backed by thunderous drums. An ominous sound that I can only describe as blackened sludge. They launch into their second track which picks up the pace and introduces a more relentless punk element to their sound. The vocals come in and I pick up some Big Black (Steve Abini) vibes. Blessure Graves continue to slam out a set full of tension and angst riddled Noisecore. They crank out plenty more awesome riffs before ending their set in a fitting dirge of well, distorted bass and drums. I dig it.
Grungy Gold Coast Rock and Rollers The Goldblooms are next to take the stage. Ripping into their first track my ears immediately tune into their bass sound and in contrast to Blessure Graves set of high gain distortion, The Goldblooms more ‘natural’ tone sounds really thumping. They crank out a bunch of well crafted tunes that belies their age with bar patron pleasing titles such as Whiskey, and Sour (two separate songs played back to back. Coincidence?). Vocalist (+ guitarist), Nic Ebeling has a great delivery, with a lot of range and emotion in his voice. The guitars sounded a little washy at the start of their set but their sound is soon dialled in and some great tones can be heard including some really nice soaring lead work. Their drummer, Dominic Willimott is dressed like a Jedi (it is May the 4th after all) and plays like one too. Awesome band.
A low pitch shifted rumble marks the beginning of the next set. This effects laden intro is cut with a scratchy guitar sound, a quick disco beat flurry, and then launches into heavy rock riffs to let you know that For The Wolves have arrived. For The Wolves have a huge alternate rock sound which is further emphasised by the first big hooky chorus they hit, which is only one of many to come throughout their set. Their sound only seems to grow and become increasingly heavy as they progress through their songs. For The Wolves are a band that loves the use of their effects which they lavishly use to add to the wall of sound they produce. Their front man, Brad Andrew‘s commanding vocals push through the mix as do the pummelling double kicks of their drummer, Anthony Molyneux as they all steer towards another big chorus. Many of the tracks also feature guitar solos that are almost thrash in style and wouldn’t be amiss in a Slayer track. In contrast to this in the middle of their set the band breaks into a sparser moment that is still thick and atmospheric. This part is populated by busy psychedelic guitar licks and ‘organic’ sounding synth elements that wind away before ramping up again into their charged heavy riffs which they hammer out until a classic rock out ends their set.
Sydney’s The Desert Sea‘s set begins with rolling toms that tumble like waves (wait wait, stop it right there with the sea puns) off the sticks of their drummer before hitting a grunged shore (but you promised you’d stop!) of more riffs and licks than grains of sand on the proverbial beach (god damn it!) spurred on by the high quality bands that had played before them to ‘not fuck it up’ they are in no fear of bucking that trend. The Desert Sea proceed to bust out a well honed set of fuzzy blues laced rock. Wild lead guitar parts frequently break out from the bed of riffs that the three piece ensemble lay down and I get a QOTSA crossed with The Black Keys vibe from their writing style. Deep vocals with a brooding element work as a contrast to the fun riffs they unleash, often backed up by their bass player, Andy West adding extra punch and weight to their choruses (I was later told this is a new addition, keep it up!).
An impromptu drum solo was played in the middle of their set during a guitar change over. The band have Ronnie from The Baltimore Gun Club filling in on their Queensland dates as their usual drummer was unable to make it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they find excuses as to why he can’t make it to future Queensland shows as Ronnie killed it. The whole band play with a lot of energy and there’s great banter in between songs to break it up. Inevitably though their allotted set time comes to a close and they choose to end with the title track from their new EP; ‘Awake Me.’ It is a ripping track but with a sombre theme of crippling addiction which they cap off with more soaring lead work in a huge finish to their altogether tight and entertaining set.
DeadYet? have terrorised many stages around Brisbane and its surrounds over the years and I’m happy to say that I have had the pleasure to terrorise some right along with them in my own bands, so it’s safe to say this isn’t my first time catching them. It is however the first time I’ll be seeing them since the departure of their original guitarist, James Kent and I’m keen to see how this may affect their dynamic. After a 4 count on the High Hat they blast straight into their high octane hardcore and its pretty much business as usual for the four piece from there on out. For those of you that haven’t heard DeadYet? before their sound is somewhat akin to Clutch mixed with Hatebreed on a caffeine drip while cramming down fists full of guarana.
A stand out of DeadYets? sound has always been the aforementioned former guitarist Kent playing blisteringly fast lead over the top of the already high speed riffage that the band pelts out, their new guitarist Scott Mitchell not only keeps up but adds his own style and flair to these parts. Awesome! They continue to tear up the stage belting through their set with the addition of a brand new tracks and a slower song that their vocalist, David Fischer claims to have never played live before. I really liked the respite that this slower (well, mid paced) track added to their set and it allowed Fischer the chance to let out some seriously killer sustained screams and showcased some of the nuances of his voice that you don’t tend to catch with his usual million mile a minute delivery. A couple more tracks including some more of their newer jams and DeadYet’s? set along with the night was complete and we could all take a minute to catch our breath.
The quality of the acts at this show was astounding with every band sounding amazing coming off The Back Rooms stage. All together it was an awesome night and I look forward to catching each one of these bands again.