LIVE REVIEW: LO! + THE FEVERED + HIGH TENSION – CROWBAR, BRISBANE [19/07/13]

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Reviewed by Bec Hennessy

Brisbane’s Crowbar is trying to inject some regularity and permanency into the local metal/hardcore scene.  A dingy, loud bunker pretty much sandwiched between two strip clubs. No chance of mistaking what it kind of place it is when the band is on. It’s loud.  Really fucking loud. There’s a Fugazi poster on the wall. And Refused is playing in between sets. It’s like my dream lounge room.

Local dudes The Fevered assault my ears early on, with a furious intensity. Vocalist Matt wins me over with my kind of raw, hoarse ‘edge of losing my voice’ vocals. They bring a lot of energy all round.

High Tension exude energy. The music sand blasts you with delicious dirty distortion and Karina’s vocals  blow me away. That evil scream, Interspersed with death growls and sassy riot grrl phrasing. Honestly, at first I stood there for a few minutes confused. It seemed like too many elements colliding with an odd jarring effect. Then that’s what I came to love about it, the raw punk quality. That, and their stage presence.

One song in –  Karina deadpans “I did all my farts on the plane so you guys can move closer” at which we all chuckle, and shuffle closer. She roams the stage and the crowd.  Down on one knee screaming, screaming in our faces. I may have fallen in love with these guys.

If my ears were assaulted and sand blasted before then I guess Lo! launch some kind of grenade attack.  It’s stealthy, and intermittent.  But hey that’s how I like my sludge.  Jamie-Leigh’s vocals were the clearest of the night, and the crowd needed no ‘come hither’ as the space at the front disappeared. The riffs were driving, and tight.

Drummer Adrian Griffin stole the show for me attacking with more of a Predator style machine gunning of a forest. Man hits it, and hits it hard leaving no victims. It was a good set, and they were tight but I was left wanting more. At their most molasses-y moments I was happy, the bass low and menacing. Whilst the guitarist and bass player held their instruments aloft, touching the Crowbars low ceiling and pausing  before dropping some heavy and low riffs. The kind that punch you right in the heart.

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