When someone asked if I was going to Big Sound (when I wasn’t intending on attending), never did I expect that I would have as much fun as I have experiencing the best of what Australia (and the international visitors) would have to offer. What set out to be an experience of networking, learning and checking out upcoming acts EXPLODED into a week long celebration of bands, beers and late night souvlaki rendezvous.
While now I walk away a broken, hungover man, I have so much to share with you about the acts which completely blew my mind during their showcases, here they are:
Firstly there’s Melbourne’s High Tension, an act which we have featured before on Wall of Sound but I never had the privilege of catching until now. I believe the words that came out of my mouth were “HOLY FUCKING SHIT” as frontwoman Karina Utomo brutally screamed her way into my life and literally destroyed my ear drums in an almost orgasmic mind fucking of the senses. The sheer heavy force this band brought to the stage was unlike anything I have ever seen before. Everything worked so well, they performed perfectly to the mass crowd which had gathered to witness their sets (both on opening night at Crowbar then their showcase at The Globe). Make no mistake, these guys are the next big thing in Australian heavy music and will continue to increase their following if their Big Sound appearance is anything to go by.
Next on the list is fellow Melbourne group Witchgrinder who for such a small band (in height), displayed one of the largest sounding performances I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. These guys were heavy and the sheer force behind their sound was enough to keep the room moving and motivated to jump around. You know how you see a band and you think to yourself “I wish this gig didn’t have to end”, that’s the feeling that overcame me with every song played by these guys. I’ll admit, I haven’t previously gone out of my way to see a band like that, but if Witchgrinder ever return to Brisbane, I’ll be there front row with my fellow metal heads causing severe damage to our necks via headbanging into oblivion.
Most of you will probably shake your heads at me for revealing this next fact, but 2015 was the first time I have ever heard of the Victorian band Cosmic Psychos. I don’t know why I hadn’t come across the name before but the hype surronding these blokes was nuts, so much so I had to check them out to see what the fuss was all about. I’m now kicking myself for living under a rock for the past 28 years of my life having never witnessed the incredible talent and on stage antics these guys have. Hilarous jokes, heavy aussie rock riffs and a get fucked attitude, these older gentlemen certainly have won a spot in my heart and iPod for being the kings and pioneers of the Australian punk scene.
On Thursday night I ventured away from the heavy metal/hardcore gigs to find out what else was on offer… ok, fine I went searching for Free Beers and was stoked to do so because I came across Brisbane’s WAAX at the OzTix party. The minute these kids jumped on stage the crowd collectively seemed to stop talking and turned their attention towards the mesmerising vocals coming from frontwoman Marie Devita‘s mouth. Add on top of that her energetic stage presence surrounded by the rest of the band, it was hard to stop watching. WAAX were a band I am so glad I stumbled across, they will definitely be going places in the future.
Also staying in Brisbane the next group that needs no introduction (unless you for some reason have never heard of them before in which case you now owe yourself an uppercut) is Guards of May. The Prog-Rockers hit the stage quite early in the evening but that didn’t stop them from producing one of the most memorable sets of the week. The alluring vocals of Richo Harvey together with the electric and in sync force from the rest of the band filled the room with gob-smacking rock you’d expect from a band who have been together for decades. They definitely deserved their recent win at the Queensland Music Awards and even though they’re supporting Dead Letter Circus on their upcoming tour, DLC might want to watch their backs as these boys could very much steal the spotlight!
Brisbane’s powercore outfit A Breach of Silence are another band some mates told me to get into years ago, but I never had the chance to see them live until Big Sound and can I say I am absolutely kicking myself for not taking the initiative to see them sooner. Their close to perfection set at Crowbar is one that I will be remembering for a very long time, mainly because my hearing still hasn’t come good again. Their heavy riffs, brutal breakdowns and crowd participation was just what was needed to bring their viewers back to life after a massive day of conferences and gigging. Can these boys join the likes of The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake and Northlane? I will most certainly call it now!
Last but certainly not least is Sydney’s Caulfield who I am still currently recovering from due to their excessively huge set wrapping up Day 2 at Crowbar. After first hearing about these guys on the Big Sound website, I knew I was in for a show and half when I listened to one of their tracks for the first time and they did not disappoint. When you hear and see these guys perform, an overbearing feeling takes control of you and you have nothing else to do but move around, jump, mosh, swing your arms wildly and just hope no one gets in your way. Frontman Jarrod Anthony Martin is out of this world and has forever implanted in my head the expectation I have for hardcore screamers fronting the stage. It was like a case of love at first sight and sound, as Caulfield shocked me with how much I clicked to them straight away, so much so their shirts, CDs and man hugs were all exchanged at the end of the gig and I will continue to promote and support this fuckin band, as you should too.
While this is as much as I can recall off the top of my head (despite being severely hungover and lacking certain memories due to an excessive amount of Fireball) I can’t leave without giving honourable mentions to guys in Drawcard, Grenadiers, Hellions and Earth Caller as well who were just as epic as their fellow heavy brethren on the night.
In closing Big Sound was better then I expected it would be and I have learnt so much about the music industry and discovered so many great bands who are all on their way up. They need our support and promotion so get out there, see the shows, buy the merch and help the musicians gain the experience and exposure they all rightfully deserve.
I’m going back to bed.