Playing Rock & Roll with a drum machine is a tough task, trying to maintain passion, emotion and flexibility within the confines of a machines rigid confine. Whilst TV for Cats aren't the most engaging band to watch, their lack of human backline doesn't notice and musically they are as flexible and fluid as any band with a sweaty skin pounder in the back row. The tunes are bright, edgy and catchy, with ingenious arrangements and musical tricks scattered throughout their set.
Skull squadron have braved the journey down from Sydney for a Thursday night at the Tote and are shoe gaze in the good old dictionary definition of the word. David's vocals are lost in seas of effects and reverb that occasionally verge on the side of ear splittingly harsh but generally generate a warming sea of undulating music that carries through the entire set. Not to everyone's taste but walk the walk and talk the talk of the genre there most definitely within.
Radiant city are a rarity, a two-piece instrumental band whom mange to avoid self-indulgence. Buried just beneath the waves of noise and layers of effects are some cracking riffs and awesome melodies, no mean feat considering there's only two men making them. By no means virtuosos, Brad Marshall and Andrew McLaughlin pull off exceptional experiments with harmony, rhythm and arrangement whilst still giving the impression that it's not all that impressive really and anyone could do it. Another thing that sets the band apart from most instrumental groups is their catchy and upbeat songs; despite the lack of vocal melody these guys write songs that actually stick in your head. Steering well clear of yet another common clich√à, these guys also appear to be enjoying themselves on stage, which is after all what it's all supposed to be about.
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