It’s a great day for not only Australian Music fans, but for residents that (choose to) live in the Gold Coast suburb of Labrador, aka Lock-Ya-Door, Stabrador and not to forget Scabbywhore because (on the other, more positive end of the spectrum) Brisbane’s WAAX have just released their brand new single of the same name, ‘Labrador‘ and the good news is, it’s so much better than the area located within the postcode of 4215.
Having grown up in Labrador for the better part of 21 years (Robert St Represent yo!!), I was surprised to hear a local band had decided to name their song after the shitty, smelly, crime-filled hood I grew up in, mainly because it meant something positive could come from the area that wasn’t just the reflection in your car’s rear-view mirror as you sped down Government Rd. towards the Smith Street Motorway to get as far away from it as you could.
To give you a rundown, during the late 90’s to mid-2000’s, no one wanted to live in Labrador. Crime was ALWAYS at an all-time high. Violence was just as bad, with literally a stabbing, shooting or killing taking place within the area on what seemed like an almost weekly occurrence. When you saw the cops driving down your street, you knew someone was definitely dead wherever they were heading.
Fun Facts: Home to Loders Creek, the Prestigious Winner of the MOST POLLUTED/CONTAMINATED CREEK IN AUSTRALIA, the Whiting St hill, a landmark which separated the boys from the men because if you could survive going down the Broadwater side on a skateboard without dying before or after hitting the speedhump, you gained instant street cred and ‘local hero’ status… and last but not least the sign that needs to remind it’s residents that Domestic and Sexual Violence is Not Tolerated in this Community (seriously, who needs a sign for that? It should be common knowledge, yet here it is on show for everyone who drives past).
But it’s not all that bad, Cav’s Steakhouse WAS home to some of the best-cooked steaks on the Gold Coast. Before he joined the cast of Avatar, actor Sam Worthington filmed the Australian Made movie Gettin’ Square at various locations around the neighbourhood and if you were desperate, between the ages of 21-23 you could head to The Grand and pick up a cougar who’d not only buy you drinks all night, but shout you a cab ride home from her place the next morning, after trying to groom you into being her child’s new step-father… oh, that just happened with me? Carry on.
However, on the music side of things, WAAX‘s new single of the same name and location (yes, it’s not named after the dog breed) is far more enjoyable than a trip to my former neck of the woods. Fresh from their support slot on Fall Out Boy‘s recent Australian Tour where the band also hilariously received many complaints from pop loving FoB fangirls who were taken back by their aggressive and in your face stage presence, the five-piece have really honed in on their sound with this new single and are more than ready to cement themselves alongside local acts like Violent Soho, Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays as a hard rocking force to be reckoned with.
Featuring frontwoman Marie DeVita‘s signature screams and melodic vocals, this punk break-up anthem will certainly draw in a few more fans who appreciate the above mentioned artists and fellow indie/rock bands like Tired Lion or West Thebarton. The Australian rock scene is thriving at the moment with plenty of talent on offer and since we first discovered WAAX way back at Big Sound 2015, it was only a matter of time before the broke away from the new class status and forged their own oath to recognition. Their many recent appearances at music festivals like Yours and Owls, Falls Festival, Hyperfest and Shakafest have helped to showcase their sound to a larger audience who may not have gone out of their way to check them out prior and their eagerness to tour again and again to remain top of mind is just one of the things that prove this band have drive and determination behind them to leave their mark.
We reached out to the band (who are currently on tour with Biffy Clyro) for a chat about why one of the darkest and most avoided parts of the GC was the inspiration behind their new tune, but alas no response yet… let’s hope they weren’t car-jacked while driving through the area towards the airport.
WAAX are hitting the road next month in celebration of ‘Labrador‘ and you should definitely go and check these legends out. It’s a shame they won’t be playing their new song in any venues around Labrador (the closest gig is in Miami on May 11th) so if someone can work their magic and get the gang a show at The Grand or Cav’s, I may make the trek down and reform my old 4215 Crew in the process…
WAAX – Labrador Tour
June 13th @ Barwon Club, Geelong VIC
June 14th @ Pelly Bar, Frankston VIC
June 15th @ Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
June 16th @ The Zoo, Brisbane QLD