Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.
Holy Serpent opened up the massive line up and instantly capsized the room. The sun was still appropriately pouring in through the front windows of Yah Yah’s for the earlier than usual set of desert styled doom. The band have recently been signed to US Label Riding Easy Records, who are known for only releasing gold in the stoner / fuzz / doom soundscapes and Holy Serpent fit right in. It was an impressive set and especially considering it was their third ever show. Some extremely massive drumming and what seemed like one set long rumbling bass note that was just bent in and out of shape; an absolute stand out as well as some of those guitar solos. It seems that Holy Serpent have already perfected their repetitive sludgy riffs that are timed perfectly like a needle skipping on a record, flawless and smooth. Very much looking forward to seeing these guys again.
It’s damn hard for a band to go through any upheaval let alone moving to another city, on the opposite side of the country, and starting over with a complete line up change minus the singer. Yet The Sure Fire Midnights proved that shit like that just don’t stick. Sure, it’s a different look and vibe, the songs are the same but different, and it seems that as a band they’re still feeling their way after only playing a few gigs together, but even taking all that into account they still rocked through the set with power and style. Warped’s Todd Trevor is on lead guitar duties and is an absolute wizard, some of the solos he plays are so damn dirty they should be illegal. Fatima Bašić (also in System Of Venus) was another obvious stand out on bass. It’s also great to hear such a strong female vocal with so much guts and passion and knowing how to use it in original member and singer Clair Sargeant.
With one member hot off a plane and the rest of the band just out of the car from a road trip minutes before hitting the stage, My Left Boot came straight out and kicked our arses. They are always a crowd favourite on any line up and in any venue. Every member is solid, charismatic and naturally talented and together they’re unstoppable. Two stand out songs for the night were the fast paced Suck It Up that was like a freight train and lead into Sharks In The Water. It’s the bands Jane’s Addiction ‘Three Days’ opus. It meanders in and out of the space in the room and sneaks up behind punters grabbing and slamming them against the wall. Matt Chapman’s vocals really shine in this track, from Robert Plant-esque falsetto to more subdued layering against Daniel Firth’s guitar work. Aston Cochrane’s bass stacked up on Liam Cuffley’s powerhouse drumming is a huge machine with massive strength and flow. It’s no wonder that Cuff is in more Melbourne bands than Shane Warne’s had steamy text messages, although Cuff may have also received one or two of those from Warney as well!
Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene came out from the starting gate like a hotwired thoroughbred on speed. They were relentless in their absolute sheer style and power. I haven’t seen them play for a while and they were great before but this Yah Yah’s gig was a massive headlining set. Absolutely rock solid, tight, and extremely impressive. They all kick arse but Luke Bolton’s bass intro in White Crystal Lady was mind blowing; it’s like Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades; but angry as hell and off it’s head! These guys should be signed on their name alone, thank god they can tear a venue apart too! If you haven’t seen them get along and do so as soon as you can.
Warped’s current line up is hulk like in their strength. Benny Watkins is part of Melbourne’s guitar wielding rock royalty and with Todd Trevor haulin arse on guitar, Sammy Crawford on bass and tearing the faces off the front row every time he screams into the mic, and Cris Wilson beating up the back of the stage like he’s in a back alley brawl, these guys are unstoppable. Sure Truckfighters and the rest of the line up all on one bill pulled in punters but every time Warped play people crawl out of the darkness and into venues just to make sure they don’t miss out on this much awesome.
This brings us to, well according to QOTSA’s Josh Homme, “probably the best band in the world”… Sweden’s Truckfighters. Hailing from snow but playing desert rock like they have sand in their veins, Truckfighters seem to have found another home here in Australia. This being their second show of three sold out gigs in Melbourne. Truckfighters like to start it mellow and warm into the set but it doesn’t take long before guitarist Django is shirtless and cranking scissor kicks around the stage. The band have always given it more than their all to make sure every punter walks away just as exhausted as they are and this night was no different. When they did rest between songs drummer Enzo was hanging off his stool, head down and fighting for breath, then 20 seconds later it was full steam ahead again. Truckfighters are the band that everyone wants to go and see, that everyone has to go and see! Those obsessed know it will be a great gig and those that have never seen them live have still heard the tales of crazy kids on a non stop sugar rush. Truckfighters once again proved they can rock out with the best stoner rock bands in the world and are still at the top of their game.