Amplifier, Perth WA
September 26th, 2018
Supports: Unravel and Self Harm
Texans, Power Trip have been around since 2008 believe it or not but have finally started to make some noise globally on the back of their second album, 2017’s Nightmare Logic. Known for their intense live shows, the quintet have resurrected the old school ’80s thrash metal and infused it or modernised it with hardcore punk. What they’ve created is nothing short of a bludgeoning force to be reckoned with and so it was with much trepidation that I headed into the pit of Perth’s Amplifier Bar to sample the metal goodness.
First up were locals Self Harm, a band that has to be seen to appreciate it’s sheer majesty, and by majesty we mean face peeling, baseball bat to the back of the head blackened death metal with hardcore and everything else in between. It’s Nails meets Bolzer. After three demo tapes; Autumn Demo in 2015, Hektik Kaos in 2016 and the promo tape for the album Absolut Kaos in mid-2017, the band will release a full-blown 9 tracks of intensity next week with their album Adapt to Self Inflicted Chemical Torture. They lasted 18 minutes and my mind was blown. Seriously this band is killer. Extreme, in your face, Self Harm were seriously impressive, so much so, I ordered the album within seconds of the band finishing their set. Seek them out or have a listen yourself here.
Onward to the next support, another local band, Unravel, who have been making some noise with their recent album, Eras of Forfeit that has been out for a little while now. Order here and you won’t be disappointed. A hectic blend of death metal, hardcore punk and grindcore and as soon as the quartet hit the stage the pit started up with a bunch of obvious Unravel followers who let loose with ninja kicks and what have you. Personally, I don’t understand that kind of shit, it’s fucking ridiculous and will only lead to someone getting knocked out, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Just know you look fucking stupid, bang your heads, get involved, no need for flaying fists fuckheads! Rant over. Musically, nothing to complain about here. Unravel are brutal. A huge slab of powerful riffs, a few killer breakdowns and the deathly growls of their front man.
If you had told me that Power Trip were playing just 9 songs and for 45 minutes prior to this show, I would of been pissed off. Even for a band of this nature, that’s kind of taking the piss – HOWEVER – 45 minutes later was all they needed. Was all I needed. I kid you not, the boys from Texas are full on from the powerful introduction of ‘Soul Sacrifice’ to the end chords of the finishing, ‘Crossbreaker’. And this mosh pit was brutal, our photographer, Den Rad can attest to that, copping several blows and near misses from a wall of diving bodies, microphone stands, banging heads and circle pits. Seriously, I was concerned for his welfare.
Frontman, Riley Gale was into it to it too, egging the crowd to circle pit mayhem and allowing room for the energetic punters to jump on stage and hope that the throng below would hold their fall. Some weren’t so lucky. ‘Executioner’s Tax’ was savage, Gale baiting the crowd with his microphone stand as if slaying them with an axe, fans singing in unison. Side of stage guitarists, Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart slayed away, fingers almost bleeding from their intense thrash chords. Bassist, Chris Whetzel plucked away mid stage, his massive mane of hair whipping the front row constantly as his head banging intensified every song.
The band may have played just 9 songs but a good mix nevertheless from their Opening Fire 2008-2014 collection of tracks released earlier this year including the awesome, ‘Suffer No Fool’ and ‘Divine Apprehension’. If you were unaware of that collection you need to have a listen. Other than that, Nightmare Logic, released in February of 2017 was well represented, including the title track and a killer rendition of ‘Firing Squad’ that inspired more crazy antics from the hyped up crowd as they dived left , right and centre, all the while the crew in Power Trip plowed away like demons, drummer, Chris Ulsh feverishly, animal-like pounding away inspiring the mayhem further.
All in all an intense night. It was over too soon, but how can you complain with such an energetic set, the likes we probably haven’t seen on the west coast since Municipal Waste laid people to rest at the Rosemount a few years back. As frontman, Gale stated, “You guys are an energetic bunch, we love it. Hope to be back here next year”. We can only hope.
Gig Review by Jim ‘Plugga’ Birkin
Power Trip Set list
Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)
Suffer No Fool
Power Trip – Australian Tour 2018
Fri Sept 28 – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne