Motherslug ‘Three Kings In Darkness’ Launch, Clagg, The Ruiner, Watchtower, The Superguns. The Tote, Melbourne. 31-05-2014.


Words Anthony Moore
Photos Sally Townsend

Motherslug’s launch for Three Kings In Darkness has been one of the most anticipated Melbourne launches for some time. Their following is growing and the line up five deep, all headliners in their own right.

Stoner metallers The Superguns kicked things off. They’ve got a drive, passion and determination that all bands should aspire to. Like a runaway roadtrain they have a refusal to never slow down and show all that they deserve the stage they stand upon, and this night was no different; stoked to see another kick arse set.

Watchtower are another hyped up band that everyone’s talking about and deservedly so. Heads rocked in unison as a slow steady doom enveloped the room. They’ve got the kind of unrelenting and uncompromising sound that A Clockwork Orange would have loved for their torturing eyeball aversion therapy scene.

The Ruiner are such a solid unit; heavy, beefed up riffs with a few comedic highlights thrown in between songs for good measure. It seems though that the rest of the band might finally served that court order on bassist Jason PC to behave himself and limit his mic use. It’s a pity really as he’d surely make it through to the final round of Last Comic Standing; luckily though The Ruiner are also one of the strongest bands around at the moment with an announcement also being made they they’ll be releasing their debut through Desert Highways in the coming months. Oh yeah, insert shameless self-promotion here.

The band room kept getting darker for each band. It wasn’t far off being the perfect setting for a literal game of murder in the dark, which brings me to Clagg. They are one band who just get better as time goes on; a powerhouse of strength and slomo doom ridden velocity. Clagg are at the top of their game and a force to be reckoned with. If Watchtower are a massive unrelenting force of nature then Clagg are bone crushing and destroying to the soul.

Motherslug were a definite highlight of the night. They’re not quite doom, stoner or metal and not quite in between. For those ‘90s kids that remember the shoegaze style of UK band Ride and how they produced an epic wall of guitar, Motherslug sound nothing like them musically but bring that same sonically hypnotic wall of atmospherics to the room that is unequalled. There are various layers to their sound; blues, doom and metal that all combine perfectly to reel you in. Especially loved the power and strength of Serpents, Trippin’ On Evil and Devils Rise all together with the former filled with Grand Canyon size riffs. Cameron Crichton’s vocals add another gravelly layer as well as being a charismatic front man who knows how to hold the room. It would be cool to see MGM change the sound for their lion’s roar with one of Crichton’s growls.