LIVE REVIEW: OSAKA PUNCH – THE ZOO, BRISBANE [18/05/13]

zoo (20)

Photo by: Gerry Nicholls

Reviewed by Bec Hennessy

Three bands for $15? Yeah the price is right, but as the night wears on it gets better. Three kick arse local bands for $15 and one of the most enjoyable gigs I have been to in a while.

Openers Vayer hail from North Queensland – an instrumental prog three-piece, owning the stage with a comfortable, laidback enthusiasm. Dropping heavy riffs that rise and fall in sleepily djent-y throes, stretching out and skittering around before finally toppling over into some sweet guitar melodies and ominous spaces. It’s love at first listen.

LeSuits are a local funky, brassy, fun-loving crowd of weirdos I have been wanting to see for a while. These dudes and dudettes rocked it. Sporting a line of quirky and endearing homemade shirts with curious dad related slogans (The Walking Dad, Vote for Dad) I got a lesson in funk and fun that I didn’t realise I needed.

The stage filled with the only nine (did I count up to 12? Including some Osaka Punchers) people who could make this party and this sound. There’s some killer guitar riffs in the mix and solid rock drumming. So much to see and hear with this bunch, it’s like a party mix of lollies – so many small bursts of different delicious flavours, that leaves me in the end just throwing the whole bag up in the air and letting them rain down on me during their cover of the Chili’s “Rollercoaster”. Raucous, sugar rush.

Osaka Punch are some funky motherfuckers, and they know it. Frontman “Jack Muzack” has some Mike Patton damage, mugging animatedly and dancing for the crowd as they roll out the catchy ‘Eat Red Carpet’.

Heralded by that sexy bass line, it has the crowd jumping hands in the air during the metal breakdown. It’s a song I have always liked, but the spoken word interlude never seemed to fit. In the live setting Muzack ‘shimmy shakes’ it himself, injecting the charisma needed to make it work. Similarly, I appreciate the comical tongue in cheek spoken word in ‘Actibreeze’ much more live and goddamn the ooh’s and aah’s are stuck in my head for days.

The blend of heavy funk that these guys sell is infectious – creatively packaged in a delightful array of onstage vim and vigour, which manages to be both sheepishly self-deprecating as well as enthusiastically confident. It’s a bit like they lean in with a smirk and let us in on a joke, then we all laugh like badly dubbed Kung Fu movie actors and dance the night away together. If LeSuits bring the party mix, then Osaka Punch bring the cocktails with umbrellas, ask us if we care to dance, then take the floor and spill their drinks getting down with crazy, funky abandon. It’s an eclectic party, which no one wants to leave.

Is there such a thing as having too much fun? If so, I suffered that affliction tonight. I’d gladly see this line up play every weekend. For much more than $15.

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