The Fall of Troy
6th July, 2016,
Manning Bar, Sydney
Supported by Closure in Moscow, Meniscus & Osaka Punch
“Don’t think this is as weird as it gets” was said by the Osaka Punch frontman, and to be honest, that line couldn’t have been any truer. A night consisting of a line up that was almost as good as the second coming of Christ, the crowd at the Manning Bar were witness to not only the adjective ‘weird’, but also the quirky, the amazing, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Where to start with Osaka Punch… They describe themselves as “brutal pop music” which is as good anything I could write, and is pretty apt for the mix of electronics and catchy vocal hooks that were on display, but they’re really so much more. The charisma exuded on stage leads to one physically being forced to participate, resulting in a giant grin or embarrassing dance moves, all of which fit their sound perfectly. Osaka Punch really do have it all, brilliant instrumentation and a captivating personality to their music, and in a few years time, I can safely predict that whole rooms will be losing their collective shit over ‘Electric Jam’.
Up next were Meniscus, preceded by an inventive and disquieting projected background of their name and what I took to be moving water or more probably, acid. Everything about Meniscus is comprised of fairly simple elements; bass, guitar, drums, a computer and a projector, but the way they utilise all those elements is astounding. Much like how Michelangelo crafted the Statue of David by “simply” chiselling away marble, Meniscus craft a masterpiece by combining their elements just right, and then also adding Ben Weinman levels of spasmodic movements to their guitarist. All in all, their post rock drone sound beats you down into a trance then yank you out into their acid trip of light with almost crushing transitions. Did I mention they didn’t say a single word? How more badass can you get!
In keeping with the prophecy of ‘weird’ Closure in Moscow take to the stage, sans garish floral jacket this time though. Replete with robotic dance moves passed down by the ‘Technochrist’ (it’s a thing), Chris De Cinque rocks the stage as energetically as ever, lending his angelic voice to the mix for good measure. Playing an awful number of renditions of ‘Free Bird’ didn’t stop the set from getting stale though, as all members of the band got into the mood of the night and enjoyed themselves throughout every song they played, as well as being wonderfully conversational. The crowd responded in kind, getting noticeably more “jazzy” as the set progressed, which culminated in a wondrous experience overall, as every Closure in Moscow experience is.
As the curtains opened (yeah, fancy right?) and The Fall of Troy walked on stage, I couldn’t help but be amazed that it has been eight whole years since these three men had graced the stages of Australia. EIGHT! Despite this monumental amount of time, the boys wasted no time in starting their set with ‘I Just Got This Symphony Goin’’ which caused those in the moshpit to cheer and begin joyously jumping around in sheer ecstasy, a fact that was humbly and emotionally noted by frontman and guitarist Thomas Erak as the night progressed. Relying heavily on tracks from their lauded sophomore effort Doppleganger, this wasn’t to be taken as a downside in any way. Fan favourites continued to flow; ‘We Better Learn to Hotwire a Uterus’ and ‘Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles’ to name a few, which tore up the floor, the crowd erupting in raucous screams and a flurry of flailing limbs and hair.
This is not to say their latest album OK was neglected, as a few songs made the cut much to the enjoyment of this reviewer, which were refreshing to see live. The vocals stylings of Erak have developed over the years very much for the smoother, as his cleans on were much more refined than on the previous albums. Personal favourite ‘Inside Out’ crushed the room with its heavy breakdown (kind of) sections and awed many with the technical wonderments that make up the melody. ‘A Single Word’, another OK track, highlighted Erak’s spastic technical skill, taking front and centre to showcase his awe inspiring virtuosity, fingertips moving so fast you’d think he was second cousin to The Flash.
Fellow members Tim Ward and Andrew Forsman, didn’t disappoint either, as the severely underrated skill of Forsman on the drum kit was as tight as ever, especially on signature shifting track ‘You Got A Deathwish Johnny Truant?’ which only highlighted his extreme levels of technique to new heights. Ward also did his part with the backup vocals, sounding as harsh as cheese grater in a blender, it called back memories of old, listening to The Fall of Troy years ago and having epiphany after epiphany as I listened to their albums Doppleganger and Manipulator. Seemingly, every other concertgoer had the same thoughts, as ‘F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X’ and arguably one of the heaviest songs they’ve ever written, ‘The Holy Tape’ was played; the biggest moshpit yet opening up and engulfing the entire floor and all those within it as the band mimicked the crowd, writhing all over the stage.
It is without a doubt that The Fall of Troy are back and doing what they do best. Whilst still shaking off the rust of their hiatus, these shows have shown that their skill and enigmatic modus operandi will continue to drive them to new heights. I believe I speak for every Australian when I say, “don’t let it be eight fucking years next time!”
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