In the age of smart phones and one-touch technology, it has become abnormal to see someone using paper and pen. That was me last night, standing in a dark corner at The Brightside scribbling notes on the back of my paper ticket with a ball-point pen, dimly lit by the stage lights and phone screens. I was there to capture the first night of the Graves ’Monster’ tour of Australia, and boy was it a good opening night. It started with local band Emerica (Something? I didn’t quite catch the name) and I Shall Devour, which sounds like White Chapel with synths, if that’s what you’re into. The crowd gave them a fair bit of support, albeit not many people were in the venue yet, and most were outside playing trivia. Awesome contrast, trivia and metal... mixes together like knitting and punk, and lawn bowls and hardcore.
Perth certainly knows how to churn out a great band, and Cursed Earth is no exception. It’s fast paced, trashy, extremely energetic, in-your-face hardcore fronted by a girl who puts most men to shame with her set of pipes. I will go out on a limb here and say that she would probably be the best female alternate music vocalist I have ever heard. Their last song was guested by the vocalist from Justice For The Damned and the pit went absolutely bananas. Listen to this band and try and try and remain completely still, I dare you.
Watch Cursed Earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJKVR-3-rCg
Justice For The Damned.
This four-piece outfit form Sydney knows how to rock a show, and not only are they extremely heavy, but they also have a groovy bounce to their songs that make them stand out from the crowd. If you feel like head butting your steering wheel on the way to work, I would highly recommend them.
Watch Justice For The Damned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn6NbT4T7hs
I’d heard multiple times in the past that Kublai Khan were kings of mosh, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The songs were full of meaning, that were soulfully explained by vocalist Matt Honeycutt. Songs that revolve around being brought up by a single mother, and loving your grandmother might not seem like heavy topics, but it’s something a lot of people can relate to; and the music gives everyone a chance to punch-dance out their rage. If I was to explain the pit in two words, it would be ‘fucking insane’, but this is where I have a bone of conjecture. I’m all for getting in the pit and throwing down, and everyone knows that if you’re in the pit you’ll get hit, but there is no need to go in there with the sole purpose of hitting someone. There was a couple of wankers who closed-fist windmilled straight through other pit goers with the intent of hitting them. This caused a couple of fights to break out. Come on guys, have fun, but don’t be a dick about it.
Watch Kublai Khan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9-Wc_jZqfw
By the time Graves started, everyone was noticeably shagged from Kublai Khan’s set, and the pit went from throw downs, spinning back-kicks and windmilling to the ministry of silly walking. The band has some excellent showmanship, full of life and energy with eight strings of brutality and a double kick faster than a thousand startled gazelles. At the beginning of the set the vocalist began to stare off into the distance in much the same was a marooned sailor would have a thousand yard stare on a hundred yard island. Having never seen them live before I assumed this was part of his stage persona, his speech mid set made me question that. He talked about abusing alcohol to swallow his inner-demons, which is a focal point of the Monsters album, and for the final few songs was standing like an inebriated zombie in between lines. Whether it was an act for the show, or the real thing, it made me think about my own personal problems and whether I had addressed them fully. I think that was the aim of the album all along. If you want my honest opinion of Graves, they should have won an Aria, not King Gizzard who are about as metal as balsa wood.
Watch Graves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS2JYkowxIc
If you live on the path of the Monster Australian Tour, I’d highly recommend getting yourself there, or you’ll regret it like a 4am kebab.