Dead End Brawler/Ursula/The Pissedcolas/The Long Lost Brothers/Rag n’ Bone
The Rosemount Hotel
Friday, June 19, 2015
The scattered few early birds clung close to the bar as Dead End Brawler began their set. The band’s noisy, abrasive punk sensibility made itself apparent from the start, enveloping the room and bleeding through to the outdoor area. Having hit their stride towards the end of the set, the band finished with Shiteratti, focusing on big, quarter note grooves. However, though the musicianship was strong, the band spent much of their time disengaged with the audience.
Supergroup side project Ursula was next to the stage. Ursula characterised itself with more melancholy grunge anthems. Unsurprising, considering its curly-haired frontman, Robbie Rumble, is another Love Junkies member. The band had a good natural interaction, though there wasn’t enough emotional engagement with the songs. Ursula hit its crescendo with their final track, Hollow, Rumble’s vocals slurring over the more aggressive, riff-based tune.
Moving away from the rest of the night’s vocal-based sets, The Pissedcolas invested heavily in instrumental, groove-focused songs churned out with a lethargic energy. Fuzz-thick, repetitive guitar lines bled out from the stage, drowning out the synth and bass lines, during saw-tooth distorted crescendos. Frontman Fabian Rojas avoided banter for much of the set, though seemed to warm up towards the end. With the guitar-heavy mix and stripped-back songwriting, however, the songs came across as repetitive, failing to evolve.
Andrew Ryan was next to commandeer the stage with The Long Lost Brothers. After a false start and some awkward opening banter the band kicked off with aggressive floor tom rhythms and chunky, off-kilter guitar lines. Ryan’s vocals were somewhat reserved, not committing emotionally to the parts, but songwriting made the set diverse and engaging.
Rag n’ Bone launched straight into Danielle, thunderous drums, banshee wail vocals and erratic, distorted guitar lines washing over the swelling audience. The muddy, distorted bass lines of Sara McPherson rumbled under each song, characterising a set more rock and less grunge than the earlier acts.
Finally, the long-awaited Sex Panther finished up the night. Continuing the night’s theme of floor tom intros, the band blew into Killer Pink. Leopard-print playsuit, incalculable, devil-eyed singer, Storm Wyness stalked onstage between songs. Once again the guitar drowned out much of Wyness’ vocals, dampening the effect of her stage performance. Mercedes saw them reach a better level and hit their stride, the band’s garage sound translating well in the Rosemount’s cavernous maw. Though there was some dissonance between drums and guitar, the playful spirit of the band amended this early looseness and overall, they seemed well-rehearsed, pumping out tunes to the flurrying, dancing crowd that remained late in the night.
SHAUN THOMAS COWE