Reviewed by Bec Hennessy
The Zoo has its usual airless, hot and sweaty sold out feel tonight. The eerie strains of ‘Dope Calypso‘ fan me, before that driving riff kick up a friendly, enthusiastic mosh. Luke Boerdams laconic vocal delivery mirrored in his frontmanship. The crowd joins in for the final a capella. “We’re Violent Soho, from Mansfield, Brisbane” is met with applause that has probably zero to do with the suburb. I sort of interpret the frequent home suburb references as a mix of fierce family loyalty and piss take. Which is a combination that sits ok with me. The 4122 shout out ushers in ‘Lowbrow‘ – a lyrical skewering the mindless middle class drones.
‘Love is Heavy Word‘ is just as raucous as you imagine in your secret (or actual) teen angst bedroom rock out. Bassist Luke Henerey is a happy tornado of hair and smiles – and there’s a substantial amount of smiling and hair flailing in response. ‘Neighbour, Neighbour‘ is a sneered ode to a certain individual living in near proximity, with Boerdam elaborating “Our old room-mate nearly got beaten up our neighbour. What a dickhead. Fuck him” ; that sweet ringing guitar solo has crowd surfers emerging from the sea of jostling bodies.
‘Eat Your Parents‘ ramps it up some more – Henerey rewarding one of the nearby crowd flotsam with a high-five. James (Guitarist) not only plays a mean riff, but also plays crowd ringleader, putting in drink requests, spruiking their merch (and floating a possible barter system involving.. uh ..substances) and general quips.
It’s a ‘Hungry Ghost‘ heavy set, but of course ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend‘ sneaks its way in; a sea of hands form prayers at the appropriate lyric. ‘Covered in Chrome‘s disconsolate, searching vocals and crushing guitars proves popular, whilst seething bodies and hands stabbing the sky to physically and verbally enunciate each “fuck that”.
Tonight wasn’t quite the level of crazed abandon that I was expecting. I think maybe in that respect I was slightly (and really, stupidly) disappointed. Stupidly because – these guys sounded great; super tight and professional yet still retaining that eager, young, punk rock hunger. I wish I had seen them many times over. I plan to make up for it by seeing them many times in the future.