Raised In The City, descended upon us this Friday at the undisputed home of all things loud and sweaty in Perth’s metro area, Amplifier Bar. The event consisted of Hyperfest’s 2016 heavier lineup, DZ Deathrays, Trophy Eyes and Luca Brasi. Combine that with some sparkling local talent in the form of The Love Junkies and Foam and you have yourself a well-organised mini-fest. It would of been rude to not go and catch all that wonderful noise in the same place.
First up was Foam. One guitar, bass and drums operated by three scruffy looking twenty-somethings to create a tasty blend of catchy and concise garage rock. The trio opened their set with an upbeat number displaying both impressive musicianship and mastership of chorus writing, their guitarist’s thin but melodic voice drawing those present up against the monitors. Their regular experimentation with odd time signatures and unfamiliar rhythms added another layer of intrigue to the band and received a good response from the modest but attentive crowd gathered for their 7:20 start. Foam were entertaining and heavy enough to get everyone stoked for the evening ahead.
Evident from the first few seconds of their set, Fremantle favourites The Love Junkies performance style could accurately be described as blistering. Their furious drummer slammed the skins and was answered with the bark of three angry amplifiers, bringing this frantic four-piece into life. Frontman Mitch McDonald possesses a broad and unique vocal approach, his contribution to the tunes being a manic combination everything from sweet falsetto to ball tearing screams. Their brand of intense alternative rock was met with a strong response, with their older classics “Maybelene” and “Oxymoron” inviting healthy crowd singalongs.
Named by Violent Soho as one of their favourite bands, the Tasmanian four piece Luca Brasi are revered for their heartfelt brand of quality Australian punk rock. As the boys burst into their first song, the passion is electric, carried directly into the crowd through every member of the band either harmonizing with frontman Thomas Busby’s gritty vocals or screaming into the pit aimlessly just because that’s the most punk thing to do without a microphone. The band are proud of their heritage, all speaking and singing with broad Aussie accents. Luca Brasi whipped the lukewarm crowd into a pit of impassioned singsongs and stage dives that left both the crowd and the band impressed with each other’s performance.
It was 10pm when things really started getting loose. Trophy Eyes are probably the best young band of their kind in Australia at the moment. They combine all the goodness of Aussie hardcore with classic American punk rock to create vibrant, honest and poetic heavy music. Frontman John Floreani just took out the Blunt Magazine Readers Choice Award for Best Frontperson of 2015 and it wasn’t hard to figure out why after watching this set. Humble and personable musicians tearing down the fourth wall of the stage and sticking what they love down your throat. The music sent kids spinning around the room in fits of pure epinephrine. The lofty frontman closed his set yelling “This is the best Perth show we’ve ever played” and how “Incredible it feels to play a show like this”. The energy was tangible in the room afterwards.
It was closing in on midnight when the band most had come to support took the stage; DZ Deathrays. Trying to stay out of the pit at a quality DZ gig is near impossible, one growl from the frontman will make you want to thrash around until your face melts off. Their brand new single “Blood On My Leather” is an anthemic salute to the no-sleep no-bullshit loose lifestyle this band seems to have lived since birth. Their set alternated between relentless like “Less Out Of Sync” to more reserved and brooding like “Northern Lights”. Catchy choruses on songs like “Gina Works At Hearts” provide a tasteful dynamic to their material all the while keeping the front half of the band room shoulder to shoulder and bouncing with glee. The last song of the night was a fine summation of the entire evening. Entitled “Ocean Exploder,” the track was an immense, fuzzed out road that sounded like it was going to blow the roof off the place. For the period of about 4 minutes Amplifier Bar resembled a zoo experiencing a union riot led by a pack of enraged and drunken baboons. A wild blur of hair, sweat and flailing limbs with at least five person crowdsurfing non-stop for the entire song and the band forcing audience members to chug beer out of each-other’s shoe on stage.
And so closes our evening at Amplifer for Raised In The City; a genuine pleasure to witness. Anyone who wasn’t already hooked on the music of Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley at the beginning of the evening surely would of been at it’s conclusion. We can only hope the unflinching, monolithic touring unit that is DZ Deathrays have many more years of shredding ahead of them.