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Live review, Music, Review

REVIEW: Seals + Go Violets + Fred Savage Beasts + Box Knife

KRISSI WEISS has a West End night out — full of local live music.

The Waiting Room, West End, Friday September 14

Heading into The Waiting Room always feels like you’re gatecrashing a party in an untenanted house. It’s dingy, with kitsch fairy lights illuminating the stage and the musicians and sound engineer talk about sound issues as though it’s a rehearsal. Yet this place manages to be a grungy paradise and exactly the environment to host tonight’s eclectic mix of music united only by the thread of raw, garage/rock attitude.

The Box Knife duo face off, synth to synth, in a communal battle of musical harmony and dissonance as they swirl through a set of grinding melodies, simple beats and glitchy funk. Vocally, things are a little strained, yet the ambience of the music combined with the bombardment of effects on the vocals ensures that any pitch problems are washed away in a wall of sound.

Fred Savage Beasts is but one beast, a man alone with his electric guitar and a string of simple stories. The musicality is a little shoddy and the concept of tempo gets thrown completely out of the window, yet these songs that barely scratch the two-minute mark are raw, from the heart and littered with a surprising charm. When Ty Segall and Ben Kweller were starting out, I reckon they sounded a little like this.

Upon reaching the halfway mark of the evening, The Waiting Room suddenly fills and the female-to-male ratio is currently leaning towards The xx end of the chromosome spectrum. The collision of revamped Riot Grrrl and pop that is Go Violets begins with spunk and style. Duelling guitars, multi-layered harmonies and the kind of riffs that make you want to thrash about and do the twist simultaneously envelope this strange house. Teenager is a big hit and while there are some foldback issues, Go Violets are solid in every aspect of their set.

Seals have been absent from the scene for a while after a UK tour and last year’s BigSound showcase while they crunch away at their debut album. Tonight is vaguely in honour of the release of their latest single Little Bit Different and a return to their hometown stages. Seals have solidified their live sound, combining the pop silkiness hinted at in their latest single as well as smatterings of droning vocal melodies and textural gloom. Tonight, the shade is just as prevalent as the light on their recording and the inhabitants of The Waiting Room seem excited to be a part of the collective sweaty hug that is welcoming Seals home.

KRISSI WEISS is a writer, musician, wannabe filmmaker and science student — bores easily. A Rave regular, Krissi also writes about music and the arts for a number of interstate and international publications.

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About DENIS SEMCHENKO

Media & comms pro who works in mysterious ways. Writer, vinyl enthusiast, sort-of cineaste, history and geopolitics nerd and (nearly) reformed muso. Has a soft spot for hyphens and slashes. Will chew off your ear about obscure music, random facts and world football.

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