PBS FM – HEAVY And HAMMERED 4. Grindhouse, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Seedy Jeezus, Muscle Car, Demon Head, La Bronco, Ute Root, Pseudo Mind Hive, Devil Electric, Vertigo, Interceptors, Bitch Diesel, Ion Drive, Subterranean Disposition, Shannon Bourne, Arcane Saints. The Tote Hotel, Melbourne. 06-10-2018.


Photos Stephen Boxshall.

The past four years PBS radio  have put on Heavy and Hammered at The Tote to showcase Melbourne’s amazing scene of metal, stoner and punk bands.

Over the past year there has been a lot of controversy in the press about gig line ups and festivals not being equally balanced in the male / female ratio of bands on the bill, PBS have stood above the crowd and presented a line up that promotes equality and gender.  Which just goes to prove that Melbourne can provide a balanced lineup of bands without compromising their integrity.

Kicking off proceedings was Blues legend Shannon Bourne, who mentioned it was his first time playing at The Tote. Shannon was an interesting addition to the bill because he doesn’t really fit into the metal or punk genre, but this proved the point further that PBS is pushing the boundaries on inclusiveness no matter what style of music you play. After getting a heavy dose of Shannon’s blues rock I moved into the bandroom to check out Subterranean Disposition, what I thought was going to be a straight up death metal set most definitely wasn’t. The first track started with singer Terry Vainoras blasting away on the tenor saxophone, not exactly a instrument you associate with metal, but the band totally made it work. For the rest of the set the band nailed the audience to the wall with passion and aggression.

Ion Drive punched the crowd with their unique take on NWOBHM (New Wave Of  British Heavy Metal). They incorporated everything I love about metal; soaring riffs, killer chorus and melodic vocals. Their Facebook page says they were founded in 1981, if that’s the case they definitely aren’t retro, they are founders of the real deal.

In the bandroom Bitch Diesel were slaying the crowd with dark garage punk. Lead singer Ruby Koomen is one of the hardest working musicians in Melbourne, she plays in half a dozen bands or so, she’s a presenter on PBS, and she plays for the football team The Megahertz. If Ruby isn’t at your gig there’s a chance you were dreaming or it didn’t happen. After a beer break, Devil Electric mesmeric blend of psych blues was pulsing at  the main stage. Lead singer Pierina O’Brien’s piercing vocals stunned me from the first song and if everyone else in the room didn’t feel the same way I’d be surprised.

Trash rockers Ute Root sound exactly like their name describes them; dirty, sleazy, and full of punk bile. Lead singer Boots spat venom into the crowd and ripped throbbing bass riffs with earthquake like thuds.

I moved upstairs to check out brutal rock n rollers Musclecar,  in the vain of The Powder Monkeys and The  Hellacopters, they blew the crowd away with their heavy dose of punked up rock n roll.

It was coming to the end of a long day but there were still some killer bands to check out. Legendary riff lords Seedy Jeezus didn’t take anytime at all starting a hurricane with their guitars, it was one wild storm from the first second they stepped on stage, and the closer you stood near them the more chance you had of getting pulled into the hurricane, which was never a bad thing.

Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene had just released their new album The Future Looks Clear, so to say this set was highly anticipated was an understatement. The new album, just like their previous one, is full of long stoner tunes with an army load of riffs. Everytime I see the band I’m blown away by the proficiency of the musicians, each member brings something unique and memorable to the set and tonight was no exception.

Headlining the main stage was Grindhouse, these boys are notorious for causing havoc on stage, whether it’s nuding up or just straight up shenanigans. Grindhouse never disappoint. Earlier this year they released Can I Drive Your Commodore?, I defy anyone to name an album any more Aussie than that, and to top it off it had celebrity chef Peter Russell Clarke on the front cover. Grindhouse songs are about all things Aussie like drugs from the Northern Suburbs, our nonexistent car industry and forgotten celebrities like Eric Estrada.

Grindhouse were the perfect band to finish off the day, they are the ultimate party band, that always get the crowd fired up.

PBS did a stellar job again for putting this festival on, and this year proved they are a head above the rest on how break down barriers of equality and inclusiveness.

Next year is too far away already.