First off, let me just say that it is almost summer here in Australia, so what the fuck was with the shitty weather on this Saturday night? Approaching the city, the Nylex tower’s temperature gauge read 12 degrees Celsius. Wind, rain and all sorts of nasty shit greeted us as we left the car park at Crown Towers and made the short walk to the Queens Bridge Hotel.
We arrived just as the opening act of the night Freestate were wrapping up their show, so I cant really give you an accurate description of what their set was like other than judging by the one song that I heard sounded like Heavy Rock and they got a warm send off by the already decent crowd at the club.
I’ve never been to the QBH before but it is a pretty decent venue to see a band. It is a mid sized venue built to hold 500-1000 punters and is definitely going to cash in after the demise of The Palace in St Kilda which was also a mid sized venue. It has a sunken mosh area and plenty of good vantage points to watch the band. There are plenty of bars to get refreshments and also plenty of couches to sit down on if you are a bit tired or wanna make out or some shit.
The next band to take the stage was MM9 also known as Many Machines on Nine. Going by the fact that Faith No More was playing on the House PA before they came on, I was intrigued to see if these guys were going to have a similar sound because I fucking love Faith No More. A four piece from Sydney, these guys definitely had the FNM thing going on but with a more modern and Nine inch Naily sound. They also got a very warm reception from the crowd and energetically powered through their set. Their drummer is a monster, ripping through numerous fills and frantic hi-hat work with ease. I was quite surprised with these guys and will be definitely checking these guys out some more.
By the time MM9 had packed up and vacated the stage the crowd had swelled to almost capacity and were eagerly waiting for COG to take the stage and play their brand of Heavy experimental rock with some electronica thrown in. Before I go any further I must add that this show was originally scheduled for the 10th of October, but due to the birth of COG guitarist/singer Flynn Gower’s second child it was moved to tonight’s date of the 22nd of November. This tour is also in support of their new album Sharing Space and tonight’s show would be their last one for the year. COG took the stage bang on 11 and launched straight into the opening track off their new album “No Other Way”. For me, I have always found this song to be a bit of a tease. Clocking in a nearly 10 minutes, they do really well to build plenty of tension, but they never seem to take it over the edge which they were able to do so well with all of their songs off their last album The New Normal. Regardless off this they pulled it off effortlessly. They then went back one album and played Anarchy OK. The crowd suitably lost their shit when they heard the opening chords to this song . This would be the theme for most of the night, alternating between songs from SS and TNN but as I mentioned before as they had a new album to support they leaned heavily on the songs from SS. Nothing from the Just Visiting albums were played. Between some songs they would do little improvisational jams to either end the song or link up to the next one. This mainly depended on whether Flynn had to change guitars for the next song. They have obviously had a fair bit of practice for this and these little jams didn’t feel forced and kept the crowd interested at the same time.
The sound they had going was first rate, massive drums, soaring guitars and insanely good vocals. Flynn Gower along with his bassist brother Luke and drummer/machine Lucius Borich are very tighter than a fishes clacker as well, no fuck ups that I could see/hear and don’t waste any of the crowds time with mindless chit-chat between songs either. Speaking of Lucius, this guy is an animal. The energy and tempo this guy plays with is amazing. He has got to be one of the busiest drummers I have seen but it doesn’t seem like he is over playing. I once said to my mate that I reckon this dude could stand in for Tool’s Danny Carey and after witnessing his performance I stand by that call.
Overall the show was pretty GOD DAMN good, my only gripe would be that they didn’t play enough of my favorite songs off TNN (no River Song, no Doors, no Run). This is probably more to do with them having to tour an album, but I have always said that TNN is a superior album to SS and you could sense that in the crowd too. They were a lot more receptive to the songs off the former as opposed to the latter. A bit like TOOL with Aenima, they set the mark pretty high early on and are expected to top it each time.
I also think that if Australian radio wasn’t so fucking gay, these guys would be massive. The following they already have is awesome, but they could be massive if they were given a chance. Unfortunately radio stations are reluctant to give anything remotely left field a chance and that forces them overseas to get big over there. They are then welcomed with open arms after they have generated a buzz elsewhere. Or in order to make it on the radio, they compromise their art and churn out terribly beige material, which is often the case. Enough ranting…I’m hungry…lets get a taco…