Words Joel Parnell.
Having made the all too familiar two hour journey from my front door to The Bendigo Hotel, I questioned the wisdom in having spent the entire time listening to Queens Of The Stone Age’s two best albums (Rated R, Songs For The Deaf… obviously). Perhaps I was setting the standard a little too high for the rest of the music I was scheduled to hear tonight. However, after a couple of beers and a durry or two, Hobo Magic began to cast their gentle musical web over the Wednesday night audience, humbly reassuring me of my position as a man in store for a treat.
I’ll start by explaining that Noosa’s Hobo Magic were booked tonight to play an acoustic set, as opposed to the usual skull grinding electric mayhem one would expect from a band signed to Desert Highways. Rather than simply playing watered down versions of their regular songs, they seized the opportunity to explore the depths of ’70s style acoustica. Minus their drummer, Carter Veltmeyer, for the evening, the band operated as a two-piece with axeman Connor Mitchell showcasing his impressive versatility as a guitarist / singer with bassist Jake Bennett laying down solid, soulful groove on his pearler of a Rickenbacker. Like any band worth their salt, these guys clearly have an eclectic taste in music, blending elements of blues, folk, stoner rock and jazz over the course of their set, even busting out covers of ‘Infinity’ by The Machine and ‘Just The Smile’ by Rory Gallagher. Hobo Magic are a must see band for any self respecting Aussie music fan. Do yourself a favour.
What I love about this band is that they harness every sub-genre of rock and roll it into one screeching, sweaty, chaotic ball of thunder and drop it on you like an anvil. If a band is only as good as their drummer, then this Melbourne four-piece are easily one of the best going around. Dude can play some fucking drums! Spacejunk hang their guitars low and set the bar high, with riffs as crunchy as a Chicken Twistee and tones as moist as a bricklayers armpit on a 40 degree day. If heavy-as-Satans-dick, aggressive music makes you smile on the inside, you’re gonna love this band.
A Basket Of Mammoths are easily one of the most underrated bands in Melbourne right now. I can’t stress enough how talented these three dudes are. The foundation of the band is Alex Minicz, who is to ABOM what Charlie Watts is to The Rolling Stones; a schooled, meticulous jazz drummer who just happens to be in a heavy rock band. Lachlan Mill is the coal that fuels the engine, laying out tirelessly inventive bass rhythms while conversely supplying a higher octave to accompany Sam Krieger’s low end, grunge style vocals. Krieger adds the overall shine to the operation with top notch guitar know-how and patient, dedicated songmanship. Stylistically, their repertoire ranges from immersive, colourful psych rock, Band Of Gypsies style blues jams and complex, yet refined-to-a-tee grunge / metal anthems. The band tore through a set of songs from their upcoming album ‘Unkept and Matted’ as well as some old favourites resurrected from the Mammoth Records vault. They closed their blistering 45 minute set with ‘The Cosmic Nod’ (From their 2015 EP ‘I Am The Wolf’), a fifteen minute instrumental homage to the act of jamming. Fuck I love that song.
If nothing else, gigs like these are testament to just how lucky we are here in Melbourne. Where else can you go out on a Wednesday night and see home grown talent of such high caliber? Do your bit to support your local music scene and go see a band this week.
Catch A Basket Of Mammoths for their final residency gig at The Bendigo Hotel this Wednesday 26 August with Grim Rhythm, The Hunted Crows and Three Headed Fool. Check out the Facebook event HERE for more details.