It’s been a long while since a local gig consisting mostly of heavy music had been so much fun. No kidding.
The Caulfield Cult released their second album Things Can Only Get Worse from Here at Blu Jaz Café over the weekend, to a small but dedicated crowd.
The first band up was A Town in Fear, who were noticeably without their second guitarist, Wayne. As usual, they were on form and churned out their brand of hardcore metal relentlessly, only stopping to tune and fix minor audio problems.
Next up was the band Two Seas. The band consists of members from math-rock outfit Fire Away! Samson and, this being their second show as a full band, their eagerness and anticipation to perform was evident. Their music was a refreshing change from the usual bands that grace local gigs — with odd-time signatures, complex drumming, harrowing screams and melodic singing, it was clear that the period of inactivity during Fire Away! Samson’s hiatus had not gone to waste.
For Better Endings took the stage next. After playing shows for nearly seven years and going through several line-up changes, you would expect the band’s sound to grow mellower. For Better Endings did the complete opposite — as the lights dimmed, the band ignited into chaos. This is a group that has to be seen live to be fully appreciated, as the band members jump around angrily while frontman Damian Steven punches the floor at the climax of the final song and fretters Keith, Mark and Auji flail around erratically, drummer Shaun Benjamin contributing to the mayhem with blast beats. If they’d sought to make a grand first impression for the people new to their sound, they sure accomplished it that night.
Abolition A.D. followed up, playing a sludgy, noisy brand of hardcore punk that hasn’t seen much popularity in recent years. They put on a good show, showcasing their abrasive sound complimented with blast beating and harsh vocals and proved to be a favourite with the bands performing that night, as members of For Better Endings and The Caulfield Cult gathered in front and bared the ‘claw’ during their entire set.
Finally it came time for The Caulfield Cult to take the stage, playing a set consisting mostly of songs from their new album. The fact that the album had only been streaming online for less than a month before its launch was irrelevant as people in the crowd enthusiastically sung along to their new material. From the rawness of Nick and Brian’s voice, the crunch of Skinny’s guitars and the beats Darren laid; it was pretty evident that they are one of those bands that sound even better live. No frills, no auto tune, just a bunch of guys with their instruments rocking out to a dedicated crowd in a small venue. Towards the end of their set, the band decided to play two songs from their first album, ‘Everyone But Me’ and ‘Burden’, which prompted huge sing-alongs from the crowd, and Nick letting some members of the crowd take the mic to sing along.
The show was completely DIY, with every ticket, beer, and any merchandise bought going to fund their upcoming Europe tour; the after-party held at Blu Jaz also adding additional funding to their tour expenses.
The show was definitely one of the most diverse line-ups I’ve seen at a show in recent memory, encompassing various genres of rock/metal/hardcore music — from the simple power chords of The Caulfield Cult, the odd time signatures of Two Seas, and the chaos of For Better Endings. Here’s hoping for more amazing line-ups at local shows like these.
By Louis Foo