The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
July 20th, 2018
Supports – He Dances Ivy, Hella Haunts and Tai Sui
Despite the genre of progressive rock and metal being relatively broad, Australia has found a way to really mess with what it can entail. At the end of my time having a blast at The Foundry last night, I was confused as to exactly what style of music I was listening to. That thought right there assured me that these bands have some seriously original talent, creativity and power. Fuck what genre it was! These bands are making some good music. Artists like Aerials are paving the way for a new generation of headbangers.
Let’s talk about the distinctive, ‘evolution-rock’ sound Tai Sui have brewed in a second, but first we need to quickly give credits to those dreadlocks. Lead singer, Alexis, brought her dominance onto the stage with a hairdo of white dreadlocks swinging down to her knees. If that or the perfectly moulded mohawk of their drummer doesn’t get your attention, then the haunting screams and melodies will. Tai Sui move between huge, classic rock-guitar riff elements to rap-metal or electronic-infused grooves. It’s a new sound that’s both variant and defined. Whatever it is, they played it with a strong stomp of confidence. They opened the night with some excellent musical strength.
Brisbane’s latest edition to the duo rock scene is Hella Haunts. Compiled by Jay Tamati and Calvin Gosney, the lads had a very successful debut show. Reserve yourself from immediately comparing them to Royal Blood as this two-piece delves into a heavier side of music. The riffs and power of their tone really does prove a 5-piece is absolutely not essential for a large sound. There is a bit of room for improvement regarding the vocal performance. Sometimes I felt the melodic and dynamic energy of the vocals didn’t keep up with the power of the instruments. For a first performance though? Nailed it! Watch Hella Haunts closely to see where they go. I’m hanging out for a debut music release.
Every time He Danced Ivy graced the world with their presence on a stage, I’ve regretfully missed it until last night. I will confirm that those other times missed were a loss. Lead singer David Cheney waved his magical charm over the audience and within seconds, the crowd was singing to ‘Banana Boat Song’ (“day light come and we wan go home”). Following that they smashed the crowd with ‘Mechanesque’ from their debut album The Verbal Kind. An encyclopedia of well-established banter poured from their mouths between each song. Not that any compensation was needed for their music. With inspiration from Karnivool, At The Drive-In and Incubus, these guys have a hilarious and talented sound that puts them at the forefront of quality live shows. We were also lucky enough to hear some new material as well as their recently released single, ‘Guillotines’. If you like bands that are too talented for their own good, get along to a He Danced Ivy show.
Ahead of the release of Aerials’ most recent single, ‘Drawing Blood’, the Brisbane rock trio headlined The Foundry show and deserved their place. If you haven’t tuned into ‘Drawing Blood’ yet, get your ass on Spotify, Apple Music, Triple J unearthed or wherever you get your music from and drill it into your ears! It’s a vague mix of Queens of the Stone Age, Muse and maybe even a bit of Dead Letter Circus.
The set featured songs from both EP releases, Firefights and Restless. Overall, the boys have a mature approach to their song writing, performance and presentation. It definitely contrasted to the previous set by He Danced Ivy, but it was a complimentary contrast. It’s like when the night progresses from cheeky beers to Jack Daniels – both hectic in their own right. Jackson Walkden-Brown ripped through the set effortlessly regarding both his lead vocal and bass parts. Accompanied by Tristan (guitar and backing vocals) and Brendan (drums) Chu, the room was able to quickly gain crowd energy… before the issues started.
Unfortunately, a mid-set technical issue caused the band to go on hold. We were all forgiving to the issue as Aerials handled the situation very professionally, resulting in only a small drop in energy from the crowd. It seems that an audience gets really involved when there is a comfortable balance between simple, straight forward song writing and more complex progressive elements. Aerials are currently doing a really good job of this, especially in songs like ‘Firefights’ and of course ‘Drawing Blood’. I don’t see any reason why these guys won’t be kicking around with names like Karnivool in a few years!
As a whole, this night showed how incredibly strong Brisbane is regarding the creativity put into rock now. Next time any of these bands are out, you can bet you’ll see me there. Go get some of it!
No More Nights
Written by Kurt Boldy
Aerials – Drawing Blood Single Launch Tour
July 27th @ Cherry Bar, Melb VIC