Three punk bands at the iconic Townie: a night which promised to be ear bleeding raucousness at its finest. There is always a bit of mystery surrounding Face Command and what they would bring so with adrenaline pumping we walked in to said venue, quaffed a couple of beers, chatted with a few of the bands and then the punk deluge started.
Energy and anticipation was high when Slosh Pit hit the stage – a band we had been waiting for quite a while to catch up with and man did they bring it. It was an attention-grabbing set made up of traditional punk with touches of the Dead Kennedys. A Trio from the Gong complete with Red’s incredible dreads and intense bass work, Lochy smashing it out on guitar and Nagy delightfully wearing a somewhat clean shirt that would inevitably be removed once that drum pace began. It was a head banging, fist pumping well rounded set with the best being a thirteen minute track: a high-speed rollercoaster, exploding, picking you up dropping you down, returning to the opening riff. A insanely clever experiment which paid off beautifully. A copy must be found.
Space Boys (more boys from the Gong: they breed them good down there) then took stage and these guys ripped into an utter landslide set of proto-punk the MC5 would’ve been proud of. Playing a non-stop bracket and tearing it up alpha omega. Tracks that groove and threaten were flung at the spectators, demanding to be heard. This band, so keen to present a freshly composed track, had the vocalist using his mobile as a hand held teleprompter. They were going to play this track in Sydney. Space Boys evoked the feeling of music as revolution. This Wollongong based band put on a show and needs to be seen. All those “rock is dead” people who parade the notion young rock bands don’t exist know nothing about the Australian underground.
As the event promised, “there will be strobe lights and beer”. It would be creativity at its highest and a given that this would be a gig to end all gigs. Face Command headlined and the house was theirs. Tables removed in full anticipation of the inevitable chaos that would ensue: nay, demanded by this iconic band. Vocalist, Tylr, detonated on the first chord and we (like all) knew it would be literally an experience of a lifetime. Using an old fashioned overhead projector before donning his milk crate cable ties to a bicycle stack hat covered in strobe lights, the populace was faced proudly and as always, he was larger than life.
Face Command are a brilliantly, chaotic, frenzied experience. However, to just see it as a circus show would be grossly unfair. There is a solid and strong band behind Tylr, skilfully augmented by Brendan’s dazzling sense of melody. They walk a line between the pandemonium and rock-solid song writing. A band that deserves to be seen and heard on a much wider audience.
Boxes ticked, ears duly ringing, beer flying everywhere: we could NOT have asked for a better night if we tried.
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