Rosemount Hotel, North Perth, WA
February 19th, 2016
Supports American Sharks, Clowns, Bayou
It’s not often you get a conglomerate of bands together on the one bill of this stature in Australia let alone Perth, so it was more than a privilege to have witnessed one of the shows of the year on Friday Night.
Adding to this night of rock was the mix of bands on the plate. A delightful mix of stoner rock in Perth’s Bayou, Melbourne’s outrageous punks Clowns and two bands out of Austin, Texas….the lesser known but entertaining fuzz punk rockers, American Sharks and of course, headliners, the Sabbath-esque The Sword. Touring on the back of their awesome High Country album of late 2015, The Sword are now 13 years and 5 blitzing albums into their careers. Experienced, mature and goddamn rock n roll monsters as evident on this night.
But firstly, as stated, this was an epic bill and kicking off the night were Bayou, Perth locals who slayed a building audience with their delectful mix of stoner rock and sludge metal, swaying between a Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity sound. Tracks, ‘Superhigh’ and ‘Barbiturate Blues’ slayed, front man, Dean Robertson nailing his meaty vocals between banging away on his percussion stick (forgive me, I have no idea what is was).
Next up, American Sharks. The Texas trio have one album from 2013, their self-titled debut. A fine mix of fuzzed up punk rock. Think faster Melvins mixed with Kyuss. It works and on the back of their behemoth bearded vocalist/bass player, Mike Hardin with his dry humour and crunching rhythm’s, this band is nonstop fun. Guitarist, Will Ellis, slays to the side of stage emulating a young Angus Young with his crazy hair style and short shorts. If that’s not enough, the manimalistic drummer, Nick Cornetti smashes his kit with disdain and after every song stands up and walks to the front of stage. Weird, but nonetheless humorous. Amongst the antics though are crunching tracks, particularly, ‘Overdrive’ and “Iron Lungs’ and the bass infused, ‘Indian Man’. The crowd response was decent too with a mosh pit already gathering momentum.
Melbourne punks, Clowns ventured to the stage next and for ¾’s of the crowd this was maybe their first Clowns experience as the mosh pit dispersed and reverted back to the bar and rear of the venue. Of course, this was not going to sit well with the energetic Melbournians and immediately they launched into ‘Swallow Your Dreams’ as front man Stevie Williams scaled the crowd barrier and launched into a one man circle pit, pushing and thrashing some of the bewildered punters. It wasn’t long before Stevie and co had the crowd swathing forward, hell, Stevie almost demanded it after later stage diving more in hope than logical thinking, luckily, the punters were drawn by the Clowns immense stage show and from there the band excelled as they delved further into their set list, ‘Euthanise Me’, ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Figure It Out’ the crowd favourites. Hopefully this killer set swayed a few punters to look outside the box with their choice of music, Clowns delivering punk and energy like it’s supposed to be…in your face!
As The Sword took the stage a heaving throng of fans surged forward. This would be no normal rock show crowd. Whether it was the Friday night, or a batch of ‘pingers’ were dropped off earlier who knows, but this mosh pit of mayhem was something to behold for The Sword. Considering the band is a Texas Sabbath/70’s heavy rock the pit movement was definitely disproportionate to the tracks, but fuck, when Perth wants to party, they party hard! The guitar mix was spot on, the duelling solos perfect and the rhythm from Jimmy Vela III on drums and Bryan Ritchie was a sublime groove.
Five albums into their discography the band are at the peak of their powers as evident from the album, High Country and despite several tracks airing from the latest album the band weren’t scared to play an array of tracks from all albums. ‘Tres Brujas’ from Warp Riders crushed but delicate moments such as ‘High Country’ and ‘Tears Like Diamonds’, despite a more laid back approach still carried with it that pummelling sound, either way the mosh pit continued, relentlessly. As front man, J.D.Cronise crooned, the crowd didn’t hesitate to join the chorus, “with tears like diamonds upon her haggard face’. It was a night for big hooks, big riffs and plenty of crowd participation. Cronise needn’t say much at all, besides the obligatory introduction a few tracks into the set. By this time, as stated, the pit was immense, hell, the satanic beasts themselves, Behemoth, didn’t even garner this kind of response from the floor last year. Nevertheless, The Sword were unperturbed sauntering through more classics, with ‘Seven Sisters’, ‘Cloak of Feathers’ and ‘Dying Earth’ some of the more crunching stage versions from the night.
In the end a sweaty mass of people left undoubtedly entertained, some likely sporting some decent bruises after a violent at times mosh pit work out. For the rest, thumbs up to the promoters and the bands on this tour, a killer line up and you simply cannot miss this tour as heads around Australia!