The grassroots band competition of Perth is here again with more bands, more styles and bigger prizes. The 2016 Big Splash had over 100 bands entered of which only 32 have been selected for the competition. On Thursday night, I had a peek at the first set of heats at Mojos.
First up were the Filthy Apes with their assertive straight talkin’ rock’n’roll coming at us a million miles an hour. The crunched and distorted tunes were delivered with great gusto, and the band as a whole had a great energy. Their sound is both menacing and soothing as the lead vocal is passed between the bassist and rhythm guitarist spanning a depth of rock influences that I think really spread them a bit too thin. Musically, they were solid and there were moments of great clarity, however I feel that the indecisiveness of their lead vocal left them without a solid identity. The drumming was superb and the mid set banana break could be a game changer for live performance stamina.
MVP – Drums
Next came a band of four young lads known as Fine Court, whose alternative rock vibe showed off some great musicality. Their set had a nice flow of genuine songwriting, but the lead vocalist needed more power and conviction to really bring together the package. The band played as a tight unit and I really enjoyed the vibe of their music that seemed to be influenced by UK alt rock such as Oasis and The Strokes. They showed a lot of promise and I hope they keep writing more music.
MVP – Rhythm Guitar
The third band called Goongey was a dream rock outfit whose cruisey, laid-back style shook up the night’s vibe. Their set was delightfully smooth and dripping in style. The easy going tunes sounded great and the solo work from the lead guitarist fit the energy like a glove. The band really enjoyed themselves and it showed in their music, however the vocalist was a bit too laid back and at times entirely lost or just not cutting through. That being said, I really enjoyed their music, as it was refreshing in the wake of such high-octane rock’n’roll.
MVP – Bass
Last but far from least was the garage band Moistoyster whose level is pretty much stuck on 11. The most standout thing about the band for me was the front man and lead vocalist whose lyrics and charisma lit up the stage. His screams and roars blew the roof off and really showed me the importance of vocals in a rock band when compared to the other singers. They are a slick band that know what they are doing, nailing every song of their hard-hitting grunge sound.
MVP – Lead/Vocal
The first heat of the 2016 Big Splash gave us a great taste of the eclectic variety that this year’s lineup has to offer. Moving on to the next round of the competition from out of the garage and onto the big stage was Moistoyster! I cant wait to see what the remaining heats have to offer and who will take out the Big Splash and the $10,000 first prize.