The Transnational Crash @ The Hen House
w/ Filth Wizard, Rocket Ship Chaser, Frank
Friday, January 12, 2018
The Hen House is a quaint offshoot of Badlands Bar, so intimate that the audience is almost made to feel as though each show is a private booking. Despite its size, the sound and energy can be pretty darn great. The Transnational Crash played one of their last shows there on Friday night to a select group of devotees, alongside Frank, Rocket Ship Chaser and Filth Wizard.
My boyfriend and I were early to arrive, so early in fact that the bartender hadn’t even gotten there. We took prime position on a side-of-stage booth and enjoyed the mood music before Frank began their set. The heavy rock two-piece were passionate to say the least. Their engagement in their music was evident in their magnetic stage presence, and the drummer’s willingness to sing along as he played. Songs were shred-heavy, with the vocalist-guitarist putting forth some impressive solos that made my ears prick up. Singable choruses were rife, in the vein of “What’s gone round won’t come back anymore”. The set even entertained a couple of long-haired headbangers towards the end.
Next up were Rocket Ship Chaser, a lighter change from the previous act. The indie rockers, adorned in their own merch, began with a song featuring the catchy line, “Fell in love with a girl, tell me what was her name?” Vocalist Brennan Smith’s style had that familiar Aussie twang we hear so much of these days, and it worked perfectly with the tracks which detailed relatable aspects of our lifestyles such as “Spent my last $12 in some overpriced cafe”. Their second track was reminiscent of When The Sun Goes Down by the Arctic Monkeys – no complaints here. With a well-received cover of Mr Brightside and a sticker giveaway, it’s safe to say their set went down a treat.
Filth Wizard were next. Their tuning led me to believe they were about to bang out some pub rock classics, but the reality was more interesting. The delayed guitar was arguably the highlight, harking back to U2’s 80s days when they weren’t so droll. The unique, breathy vocals struck me as having the ability to transcend genre if so desired, and demonstrated as much when the singer adding in a few screamy bits now and again to shake things up.
Headliners The Transnational Crash preceded their set with some Zeppelin, so I had the feeling I was in for something cool. Crowd engagement was immediately encouraged and banter prevailed, as they bashed out some distortion-heavy, classic rock-sounding tunes which sounded almost glam rock at times. They did diverge into other territory too, as one particular song fooled us into thinking it was Epic by Faith No More. Lyrical matter included “love-making” and “tantric sex”; it really felt as though I’d been cast back in time.
The crowd loved what they saw and heard, and while I didn’t have that “ah” moment at any point, the bands were clearly happy with the enthusiasm and attendance, which is all you can really ask for.