Sunday, April 6, 2014
Perth received it’s recommended dietary intake of brutal with the return of the uber-creative progressive metal outfit, Kylesa. Hailing from Savannah, Georgia, Kylesa have an unwavering professionalism about them and a few tricks up their sleeve to keep even the most battle hardened metal heads interested. The surprisingly chilled legion of long haired, black shirted aficionados of heaviness were out in droves for a chance to bear witness.
First up to the plate were Perth’s own Chainsaw Hookers. Put simply, these guys are unapologetically brutal. The combination of punk energy and ridiculously deft solos from the lead guitarist make for real entertainment. Towards the end of their set they became vocally outraged at the thin and relatively quiet crowd and began to lash out. It’s unclear whether or not this is a part of their schtick, but it feels like they may have forgotten that it was a Sunday night in Perth and that they were a support act.
With barely a pause, Bayou were up next to raise the decibels to the threshold of pain. Exponents of a hard as hell southern metal style, Bayou came with riff after riff of brutal magic. The gigantic lead guitarist had an expression on his face of gnarly ecstasy as he brought the stage to life with his high precision solos. Lead singer Dean Robertson was on fire as he belted out lyrics that hit like a 12-gauge and pulled shapes like an amphetamine-addicted Mick Jagger. Some interesting atmosphere was added to their pieces through the use of cinematic and vocal samples with sources ranging from blaxsploitation movies to the seer of sociopaths, Charles Manson.
Wasting no time, the crowd pushed up to the stage and Kylesa began. Kylesa are an insanely tight outfit; loud and crisp and fantastically progressive. The power of two drummers has perhaps never been so perfectly expressed, with one packing padded mallets to provide mid range percussive elements and the other providing the snapping highs. The vocals from guitarist and singer Laura Pleasants were full of guts and glory and possessed a controlled coarseness that fit the mix beautifully. Kylesa have a grimy yet well-honed sound that smacks of pure creativity. The addition of a theremin expertly triggered by the guitarist added a haunting and truly unique element.
Metal is probably some of the most cathartic modern music and, when in the hands of individuals with no concern for genre labels or fitting a particular stereotype, it’s true potential can start to be fulfilled. Kylesa have already taken on the label of cult icons amongst some fans and it’s unlikely that their star will wane any time soon. \m/