Shooting at Unarmed Men (SAUM) strike me as band that have good nights and bad nights that drastically effect their performance, the last gig of theirs I attended was lacklustre and neither the band nor the audience seemed to enjoy it. Tonight however is a completely different story, the band are as tight as a gnat's arse, delivering biting, sardonic lyrics with venom and gusto, rumbling bass lines locked into a booming kick drum, jagged guitar and discordant counter riffs, the chemistry shinning through as the bands' on stage banter revolves around in jokes about everyone's background, Welsh sheep, convict heritage and Gold rushes. The venue is now full (later confirmed as sold out) as Baseball take to the stage and little did I realise we revisit our friend the nuts drummer from NinetyNine, this time on vocals and violin. Once again it's hard to take your eyes off of him as he takes up most of the front of the stage, legs wide apart, feverishly fiddling and screeching incomprehensibly into the microphone. The music is frantic, messy, chaotic and exciting, fusing elements of Punk Rock, gypsy swing and even some hints of Middle Eastern scales and melodies creeping in. Someone has decided to dowse everything with swathes of reverb which makes discerning what's going on a challenge, perhaps the band wanted it, perhaps the soundman just thought it would be a good idea, however it turns a lot of the songs into big balls of noise, lacking in clarity from each other, so whereas SAUM held the audiences attention, aside from the dedicated front row, a few start to mention that band have been playing too long, turning to the bar, the impact poor sound can have.
Published in www.rockus.com.au