So, Gold Coast proggy/post-rockers Helm made the journey south, in support of their newest single Bullets (which features a pretty awesome guest drummer). I really enjoyed their set supporting The Butterfly Effect last year (more so than The Butterfly Effect as it were), and I've been really getting into their two albums in the past few months, so I was more than keen to check them out this time. Especially with dat support bill, and the venue being walking distance :)
So first up, we have the never-failing-to-be-awesome Ezekiel Ox, doing his thing with just a microphone and his guitar. Obviously I'm a bit biased being a fan of his previous (and current) work, but in some respects his solo (and Fury) shows are some of the sets I've enjoyed the most from him over the years. I really appreciate how deeply personal some of the songs are to him; you get to see another side of him rather than the usual in-your-face ranting punk rocker (although I do enjoy that side of him too). So anyway. A nice cruisy set to kick the evening off; I guess most of these tunes are going to be appear on the next Fury album, if and when that ever gets released. I hope it does.
Poison in Crisis (the lyrics clearly say "venom". I'm confused.)
Sick and Tired
Don't Let It Grow
Fire to Sun
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Up next was an absolute belter from stoner/riff-heavy rockers Dive Into Ruin, who for the uninitiated feature Craig (bass/vox in this band) and Trent (drums) from Mushroom Giant - although they couldn't sound less like Mushroom Giant if they tried. I don't think I saw these guys at all in 2011, so I was really looking forward to this one because they were one of the first bands out of this underground scene that I got into when I moved to Melbourne. I'm happy to report they still sound awesome, although I couldn't remember a lot of the songs being played. And there were quite a few newies in there too. The setlist I grabbed doesn't exactly match what Craig introduced some of the songs as, so I've just had to wing it a little bit. Plus the titles are in shortened setlist form. But yeah, these guys are great. Hope to see a bit more of them this year.
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Ennis fucking Tola. When did I see these guys for the first time? I can't remember, I think it was the Floating Me gig at the East Brunswick (RIP) last year, and they made an immediate impression on me that night. There's just nobody around at the moment that sounds quite like them, and with their recent run of reasonably frequent gigs, they're looking more and more at home on a live stage. Whether it was because it was their last show for a while (they're now going to get stuck into making their second album), or maybe it's just because they're awesome, they had a very respectable-sized, and very appreciative crowd on this night. What a good set this was. They played plenty of old tunes and some solid newies from that eagerly-anticipated upcoming album and like I said, their stage presence is improving significantly. The friend I was with has been a bit harsh on them for being a boring live band in the past (I never agreed with him though), but he enthusiastically declared at the end of their set that he was very impressed with their progress. So yay for them having another fan, they deserve it. Anyway. Great set!
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Unfortunately that set was so awesome that lots of people decided to leave before Helm (it was also getting pretty late), which was a real shame because these poor dudes travelled a long way and I think people really should have stayed at least for a few songs to give them a bit of support. Frontman Lucas Stone understandably commented on the sparse crowd at the front of the room; he did it in a jocular manner but it was obvious he was a little disappointed. Neverthless, the show must go on as they say, and go on it did, in great form. The small crowd didn't seem to bother them; they played really enthusiastically, especially during their heavy bits. It's a bit cliche, but the "whole group headbang" always looks pretty awesome. Anyway, yeah, good set, it was a fucking late one but worth sticking it out for! More people need to appreciate this band!
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