Sunday, 30 March 2014

MANNING BAR – 29/03/14

Wormvestor Stallone abseils down the precipitous cliff face to deliver a holy hand grenade behind enemy lines. His mission; to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting group of Ocker invertebrates, which will allow the remaining member of Fish Bait Squad to slink in undetected for an easy victory over the tyrannical reign of Timcules. A month off the booze had caused my “soberical” fortitude to recede back to the glory days of my teenage, virgin liver, and at only two scotches in, my plan fell apart in the most unfortunate of fashions. The divine missile fell from my hands, off-target and into a mine littered crater.  Stallone decided to follow suit and was obliterated on impact. The impressive explosion launched a series of proximity mines directly at an already wounded Arnold Wormseneggar, ousting him from the arena and into a watery grave to join the rest of his fallen comrades. Upon witnessing my self-inflicted defeat, Mistress Flataitycus urged that we make our way to Manning Bar with the speed of Hermes. Heeding her wisdom, we departed Sparta with our army of three and excitedly made our way towards The Hot Gates of Sydney University, for death and glory.

Six-piece metalcore outfit POLARIS were an unusual choice to kick off the Sydney leg of the Troll Burger tour. Straight out of kindergarten and into the hearts of a few diehard fans up the front, the Sydney siders wasted no time in unfurling their mix of screamo laden chug-a-lug onto the unresponsive crowd. Most hardcore/metalcore/applecore bands are full of young, angry kids with a high energy front man fuelled by Red Bull, and Jamie Hails was no exception to the rule. His nasally screams filled the arena as he ensured to tag every bit of floor the venue had to offer. Bassist Jake Steinhauser was the far more competent of the two singers, providing perfectly suited clean vocals for the chorus-like sections of the songs. Guitarist Ryan Siew worked the crowd like a pro and was easily the most interesting person to watch on stage. That was until he decided to sit down on the edge of the stage for what felt like half the set. His counterpart Rick Schneider whilst not very active on stage, did provide some gorgeous sweeping guitar work which at times reminded me of Karnivool’s persona EP. Drummer Daniel Furnari appeared to be bored beyond tears. Technically he’s very good at what he does and he might even enjoy it, although his face does not betray his emotions. Despite all of this, the music as a whole was actually quite enjoyable as it was chock full of syncopated riffage, grinding chuggs and gorgeous sweeping clean overdubs provided by Schneider. The boys seem to have a decent following and sadly I feel they gained nothing in terms of exposure by playing this show. In summary; good band, wrong crowd.

I’ll be honest. I’d never heard of THE ALGORITHM before tonight and was confused at the unusual set up on stage before me, staring me down like a lusty minx. A lone drum kit overlooks The Pride Lands from its podium whilst a rather lengthy table housed a menagerie of electronica doodads of which I have no idea of how any of them operate. The French duo take to the stage during a remix of Dragonforce’s “Through The Fire And Flames” which stimulated our musical prostates in anticipation. The cautiously curious crowd look on as the virtuosos before me work their seductive musical magic which quickly causes more than a few pairs of ear in the room to prick up. What makes this band stand out is they appease to both electronica and metal crowds whilst not falling into the industrial sub-genre. The set as a whole was mathematically challenging; full of off-centre time signatures (such as 6/4 and 10/4) much to the delight of every musician in attendance. The music is metal orientated electronica with a Super Saiyan in the form of Mike Malyan on the drums. He pummels the steel and skins of his kit with the speed of Tara Reid’s demise from stardom. Brainchild of The Algorithm Rémi Gallego worked the mixing and engineering on stage. I have no idea how any of the equipment works but every gesture of his hands and every idiosyncrasy he displayed coincided with a battering ram of electronic legerdemain. He utilized the perfect amount of dubs per wub, appeased to the metal fans by incorporating heavy amounts of djenty guitar work and even contorted a smorgasbord of froth-inducing sounds that syncopated with the insane percussion skills of Malyan. It wasn’t until Kin of Twelve Foot Ninja joined the duo on stage that the crowd really started to get into the set. The multitude were starting to dance like toddlers at a Wiggles concert and the room was rapidly filling up to see what all the commotion was. By the time the boys closed the set with a remix of Daft Punk’s “Faster Stronger” the audience could chain link a smile from wall to wall. A thunderous applause saw off the French men and a new wave of excitement filled the room with the advent of the headliner. Brilliant performance from a genre defying band that will be making high rotations in my music library for the foreseeable future.

Melbourne’s TWELVE FOOT NINJA enter the dojo to demonstrate their sneaky assassin ways to the drooling punters in attendance tonight. The five piece have to be seen to be believed as the excellent recordings don’t hold a candle to their explosive live show. “Coming For You” harpoons our senses with its genre-abusing structure which shouldn’t work in any scenario (like ever) and yet, it more than satiates our musical appetites, as the song fits together like a perfectly constructed Lego Death Star. The inebriated mob were singing along in droves to anthem after anthem of the bands impressive catalogue of hits. Russ had his arms flailing away up the back of the stage like a teenage girl running into a friend she last saw only an hour ago. Damon was grinning like the Mayor of Halloween Town while he was hunched over his bass like Quasimodo, presumably to reach the bottom strings in order to add his distinctive flavour of fat, bouncy hooks into the music. Kin’s face suggested that he was exhausted during the performance but his flawless Patten-like vocals quickly shot that assumption out of the water. Fan favourite Stevic had his very vocal supporters in attendance tonight. I don’t know where it came from but one rowdy punter was screaming out to him on the opposite side of the stage to give him a slice of pizza……which he devoured in a single bite and much like a duck, the mastication process was non-existent. Rohan and Stevic had some nice duelling guitar battles going on at one point much to the delight of the rowdy room. “Molotov Brother” sent the endorphins in the room haywire and the world record breaking, crowd funded video of “Ain’t That A Bitch” helped cement a new favourite sing along for the increasingly sweaty mosh. The audience grew hungrier with every passing song of Twelve Foot Ninja’s patented brand of electro/metal/random genre fusion. “Portrait #1” had all but the four kids front and centre (who had been there since the doors opened and complained whenever someone bumped into them) bouncing along like an opportunistic Randy Marsh, and “Clarion” had us singing out of tune like an army of banshees. TFN close the show with “Mother Sky” (which finally got the gig noobs moving to the music) which the horde lapped up quicker than Goku can eat a meal after a forty eight episode battle. Twelve Foot Ninja are one of Australia’s tightest acts to date and it’s no wonder why their innovative brand of genre fusing metal is garnering cult-like adoration the world over. Glorious set yet again from the Melbourne five piece.

Australia has so many talented bands that can compete with the best the world has to offer. Twelve Foot Ninja are doing wonders for Aussie music overseas and they started out like any local band in sunny Melbourne town. Think about how many other bands we can propel through the ranks if we all attended at least one gig a month. Sydney should be the envy of other cities and not the proverbial black hole of the local music scene that we as a city have unfortunately gained a reputation for. Our music scene needs your help to nourish the volatile nature of the industry.

Don’t be a dick, Sydney! Support The Music Scene.

Joshua Towney

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