Stoner legend Brant Bjork has been a frequent visitor to our shores, so when his tour was announced, all the desert rats come out in droves. Before the show at The Corner, Bjork had already played Negative Waves in Geelong and Cherry Rock at Cherry Bar. Along for the ride he bought Holy Serpent, Don Fernando and Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene.
It’d been a long time between beers since I’ve seen FTFDS so I made sure I was front and centre. As soon the riff for ‘Better Off Dead’ kicked in I was pinned to the wall. The unique thing about this band is the three part harmonies, it gives the performance incredible strength. They finish off with the sludgiest version of ‘Facing The Ruin’, by the end of the set my heart was in my throat and my ears were blasted, did I care? Not in the slightest. Continue reading →
Swedish fuzz-rockers Truckfighters never stop touring. They were only last here a year ago with sold out shows and Australia doing what we can to adopt them as our own. With another successful run of dates in 2016, it was Melbourne’s turn to once again completely lose their shit over the Truckfighters! Continue reading →
On the morning of festivals Melbourne often likes to act all dramatic. Early on Sunday it was cold, wet and overcast and looking like this years Cherry Rock was going to be a soggy mess. To be honest the only difference it made to my attire for the day was to throw a couple of sealable lunch bags into my pocket to save my phones life in the event of a flood. Nothing though was going to stop the punters this year with international headliners Red Fang (US), The Shrine (US) and Beastwars (NZ) as well as a strong local contingent featuring Warped, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Horsehunter, My Left Boot, Clowns, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus, and interstaters HITS (Brisbane) and Los Hombres Del Diablo (Sydney).
The rain had already subsided as punters started to roll up at midday. The dual-stage fest kicked off with Dr Colossus on the AC/DC Lane stage and sounded incredible. It was such a great mix for the two-piece whose style of rockin doom only includes lyrics about The Simpsons. Perfect. Singer / guitarist Dr. Jon’s vocals were up higher than I’ve previously heard in the mix and shot out and up the lane way giving their sound extra depth and strength. Best I’ve heard them.
Performing the entire ‘Black Sabbath’ debut album live on its precise 45th anniversary, and appropriately on Friday the 13th, was a collaboration of some of Melbourne’s most respected original heavy rock exponents, brought together for the first time to form a local super group, going by the name The Wizards.
With lead vocals from both Matt ‘Chappy’ Chapman (My Left Boot) and Jake Haugis (Dead City Ruins). Guitar duties were shared by Neil Wilkinson (Redcoats) and Daniel Firth (My Left Boot), bass Jim Coelli (Sheriff and A Gazillion Angry Mexicans) and on drums was Liam ‘Cuff Norris’ Cuffley (Matt Sonic & The High Times, Grindhouse and My Left Boot.)
Holy Serpent opened up the massive line up and instantly capsized the room. The sun was still appropriately pouring in through the front windows of Yah Yah’s for the earlier than usual set of desert styled doom. The band have recently been signed to US Label Riding Easy Records, who are known for only releasing gold in the stoner / fuzz / doom soundscapes and Holy Serpent fit right in. It was an impressive set and especially considering it was their third ever show. Some extremely massive drumming and what seemed like one set long rumbling bass note that was just bent in and out of shape; an absolute stand out as well as some of those guitar solos. It seems that Holy Serpent have already perfected their repetitive sludgy riffs that are timed perfectly like a needle skipping on a record, flawless and smooth. Very much looking forward to seeing these guys again.
On a sweltering Sunday at the tail end of November The Tote in Collingwood hosted one of its famous Sunday Six Packs. Opening the sessions were psych-rockers Lucid Planet, complete with incense sticks in the amps and lyrics bearing philosophical musings. It’s a hard gig to open in the sober daylight, but Lucid Planet suited the languid, muggy Melbourne afternoon, with psychedelic soundscapes and hypnotic, bass-driven rhythms burning easily into post-rock Tool-like bursts.
Following Lucid Planet, Sydney-based Shanghai brought some sexy swagger to the stage. Shanghai is an experimental outfit featuring variously keys, bass, percussion, guitar, theremin, flute, saxophone, and trumpet. Full of surprises, this band weave through genres faster than you can call them; snapshots of metal, punk, pop, glam rock and free jazz flash before our ears, faintly doused with a campness reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. They add neat musical references throughout, from the snatched bars of jazz standard Round Midnight to a swift, rocking unexpected cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, but the works are distinctly their own. Even the unanticipated tuning of a new guitar for lead guitarist / singer / theremin player Luis Rojas was turned into an interesting musical segue and held the attention of the delighted room.