Pat Chow/Health Legend/Ruby Boots
Saturday, April 5, 2014
With the spectre of the state election hovering over everyone heads, Mojos Bar filled up slowly but surely for the launch of The Love Junkies new EP, Flight Test.
Ruby Boots started the night, her powerful voice ringing out pure and clear. A recent writing expedition resulted in her song, Middle of Nowhere, although with the friendly crowd it seemed like anything but. The song Ruby Blues was heartfelt as hell, and with one more song she rounded out a great country-blues set.
The next group, Health Legend, were the antithesis of Ms Boots: loud as fuck in the best possible way. With the guitarist in his best grunge gear and the bass hanging low they proceeded with a mix of sludgy power chords that would break into a superfast punky thrash. The lead singer was shirtless by the second song and down on the floor with the crowd in a frenzy of lunatic adrenaline glory, and they were helpless to resist.
Three piece Pat Chow kept up the pace, but modulated it with melody over the crunch. Throwing out catchy indie riff rock, with some heaviness to break it up and keep anything from getting too safe, they were a fun, loud band. A few more songs featured jangly guitars sprinkled here and there but these guys were primarily about kicking arse. And speaking of kicking arse…
It was just past eleven when The Love Junkies took the stage, with lights dimmed in expectation and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun on the stereo. So, it seems, did these guys as the three of them came out and started a reverb-drenched mellow number that exploded with a bang and never stopped bringing it.
Frontman/guitarist Mitch McDonald had the crowd at his mercy the whole night. Lewis Walsh’s drums were particularly noticeable on all their songs, with a busy and full sound that still had some elegance to it. Detuned bass growled in the heavier songs, courtesy of the excellently named Robbie Rumble. Robbie did heavy back up vocals on the third song over the more melodious Mitch, but more impressive was how they switched between 7/4 time and 4/4 time without a dropped beat. A mix of older songs and new tracks from the EP kept people interested, especially the older numbers. There were traces of stoner rock, grunge and punk, and even two songs that featured the string players swapping so Robbie could sing.
Then came the rare Nirvana song, Curmudgeon. Perhaps a misstep, as a more well-known song would’ve kept the energy high. No matter, as they brought it back around again with quiet/loud dynamics and some sneaky little chromatic riffs. All the while they exuded good feeling, and with most of Mojos singing along to a good number of the tracks they employed a few more cunning tempo changes and vocal interplay before ending with a glorious bang. It was good night for the lads, and no one in the crowd would deny the skill, power and fun of The Love Junkies.
Elections be damned.