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Highway Breakdown

Highway-Breakdown----Photo-by-Rachael-Barrett-1

The Cold Acre/Hello Colour Red/Approaching Opposite

The Civic Hotel

Friday, May 23, 2014

An intimate and passionate group of fans assembled for the launch of Loaded Gun, the debut EP of up and coming blues rock outfit Highway Breakdown. Inspired by a heavy and creative classic rock sound, these boys were almost mechanical in their precision and set in their desire to get heads nodding.

Approaching Opposite got the night rolling on a more alternative note with their fresh expressions in grunge. Mellow and well considered moments of gentleness made way for explosive cavalcades of heaviness. Similarly, the vocals meandered softly and melodically, breaking and wavering with immense energy at the climactic breakdowns.

Hello Colour Red were up next and brought the energy even higher with their up-tempo yet atmospheric sound. Lashings of effects and dark melodies built a powerful nervous energy in the room. This music strikes a perfect balance between a ‘considerate’ indie sound and more ruthlessly heavy, almost punkish emanations. Some fantastically high paced guitar work by the lead player widened eyes and set faces glowing.

The Cold Acre made their way up to the plate next with their unforgiving Rock sound. Heavy, groove laden riffs were belted out with a casual air which could not belie the talent. Crunchy and dirty, the epitome of grungy, guitar lines and powerful, emotion laden vocals set hearts soaring and the floor vibrating.

Without so much as a pause, the act of the evening made their way to the stage. Filthy as a muddy bayou and brutal like the flesh-eating crocodiles that dwell within, Highway Breakdown breathe a youthful new life into the blues rock genre. Lead guitarist Clayton Brown was given ample opportunity to show off his immense ability with his instrument, with enough pinch harmonics and devilishly fast solos to plaster the faces of the audience with a permanent expression of ‘Oooo Yeaaaah!’

Lead vocalist Alex Watson was something of a revelation, his booming voice and hefty stature creating a commanding presence on stage which fit this style of music beautifully. Amongst all this energy was that sweet bluesy tone, which, when executed with this sort of accuracy, provides a vivid image in itself.

The Perth musical landscape will never be boring as long as young musicians and artists like these continue to create for creations sake. It seems that our origins as the strange frontier town that we used to be has created an affinity with the blues sound that is unlikely to ever die. If you want a guaranteed display of ability and organic musical expression, keep your sights locked on Highway Breakdown for what is sure to be an exciting year of new music.

JAMES HANLON

Highway Breakdown – Photo by Rachael Barrett

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