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REVIEW: The Fearless Vampire Killers

Last weekend, JASMINE DARLINGTON-RIELLY was out in the Val to watch current indie-pop darlings THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS and a couple local acts.

The Fearless Vampire Killers + Fushia + Bixby Canyon

Alhambra Lounge, Friday October 5

First up tonight are Bixby Canyon. As they take the stage, there are only about five people other than Alhambra staff members watching, so I guess it’s just not their night. There is really only one way to describe the band, and that is “post-grunge”. The frontman doesn’t have lots of energy, the lack of a second guitar makes the songs seem less punchy, the bassist seems really nervous and the drummer keepsslipping up. It all amounts to triple ‘U’: unpolished; unfinished; unimaginative.

Next up are Fushia, who have a bit of an indie-pop feel to them with a whole lot of synths topped with funky bass lines. The band’s keys player is great, but unfortunately they’re plagued with technical issues that continue for the rest of the evening — putting a damper on things. That being said, they put on quite a fun show and the small crowd thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Finally, Melbournians The Fearless Vampire Killers take to the stage. An older track Alright Now Honey kicks off the set blending surf-pop, garage-rock and ‘60s psychedelia — demonstrating why TFVK have distinguished themselves from the abundance of rock revival bands. For You & Me — a funky blues tune with rollicking guitar riffs, catchy hooks and swooning backing vocals — boasts a more refined sound. New single Mexico (off the LP set for release early next year) has a Western movie feel to it mixed in with a bit of Texas two-step swing.

The technical difficulties throughout the set don’t curb TFVK’s enthusiasm as they debut a new track and give a respectful nod to one of their influences The Beatles with a haunting, emotive rendition of Yer Blues. Sean Ainsworth’s shrieking vocals (“I’m lonely, wanna die“) transform the song into one of their own. After a few more familiar, Triple J-rotated tunes, the band top off the night with The Monkey Song.



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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