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Darkwave

Harlequin League-1The Rosemount Hotel

Friday, October 11, 2013

10 bands, five hours. Darkwave organisers pushed logic aside, packing The Rosemount to the rafters with some of the best local musical talent. With mere minutes between sets, punters enjoyed a near constant barrage of curiosity-piquing sounds.

The Frighteners kicked things off with their delightful mix of bluesy rock and roll and infectiously groovy tunes. Known for his mind-melting sets, Ourobonic Plague followed, and he didn’t disappoint, mesmerizing early comers with his loops of hard industrial beats, squeals, waves and crackles.

Heytesburg’s quick jazzy drums, thick full bass, soft complimentary vocals, and interestingly scenic backing track set each other off nicely, ensuring an outstanding and very professional set.

The more relaxed, jam session feel to Shouting At Camels set greatly complimented their raw rock sound. The band seemed to enjoy themselves, with the frontman often dropping to his knees to belt out some strong, slightly gravelled vocals during the grungier songs. A Hendrix-esque guitar solo followed by an equally unbridled drum solo capped off their stellar performance.

Seams followed with a more diverse mix of styles, starting with a simple yet solid rock song, they gradually grew into a pop performance. The vocal harmonies were well delivered, and the organ-like keyboards added some depth to the overall sound.

Ramping up the energy, the crowd loved the Rag n’ Bone frontwoman’s Courtney-Love-meets -Tina-Turner style vocals, which were very prominent even over the heavy, dirty, country style rock.

Another change of pace, beginning with a captivating instrumental song, and continuing with a tight set full of infectious indie rock, Harlequin League were like a well-oiled machine, though that didn’t stop them from having a bit of fun on stage. The fun continued and it was clear from the get-go that two man band Goat were going to be anything but generic, bleating like their moniker for the sound check. The amount of noise these two managed to make was impressive, due partly to loops and delays of the guitar, and an absolute hammering of the drums.

Debuting their largely anticipated electronica/ synth-pop side project LYTS, the enviably multi-talented Laith Tierney and Yaeger Mora-Strauks absolutely blew the crowd away with their full wall of sound. Atmospheric and sometimes haunting sounds emanated and looped from the keys, and with Laith’s deep, dark vocals layered over, evoked some very dark waves indeed. The set weaved slowly into a more pop style, but managed to stay full of depth and emotion. Smooth, crooner style vocals from Laith soon gave way to a seedier feel and sound reminiscent of Mike Patton, contrasting with Yaeger’s clean backups and adding yet more depth. Due to the format of the night, the set was over all too soon, but what a tempting taste of the great things to come.

_ LIANA KELLY

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