An intimate EP launch for Adelaide’s Moonfaker took place at Pirie & Co, where the show was ultimately lost in space.
Words by Paul Maland Photos by Jesmin Spaans & Paul Maland
They Might Be Alright Opening up the show were indie-rock act GHYTI (a name you’re probably better off not trying to pronounce). Fortunately, their sound was much easier to understand than the name. Cruisy indie tunes filled the room where vocalist Matthew confidently bopped along to his basslines, while the rest of Pirie & Co remained pretty empty. A slight They Might Be Giants vibe encompassed the tone of some of the tracks. Unfortunately, the keyboards heard in numbers like Misogyny didn't make an appearance (“They exploded” – Matt), but it was a nice up-beat start to the night. The band ended their set with songs All The Same, and Give Us Your Money (something a few punters would've been disappointed to have done). Not bad, but nothing to write home (or on the internet) about.
DEEZE TRENDZ Melbournites Destrends followed on stage as the crowd probably reached its apex (not bad for a band that’s not even headlining). Exceptional stage presence complete with glitter on faces and harsh slaps on basses had the room moving and filling, though only with a maximum total of about forty or so people. Vocalist and bassist Matt Savage (what a name) did a great job of hyping-up the crowd and jamming with guitarist Billy Watts, but again the overall performance was soured by a lack of numbers. Destrends had a few groupies that made the trek from Melbourne in-tow, and a really savage cover of Talking Heads’ hit Psycho Killer to cap off their set. Of all the bands that played, Destrends would be the one worth making note of; seeing them live is recommended (even if it’s inclusive of annoying tango-dancers in the front row).
Crash Landing Headliners Moonfaker took to the stage and began the start of an ultimately disenfranchising experience. The thing about this band isn’t that they’re objectively bad, it’s that arguably the most important aspect of directing a band like this – the vocalist – makes me want to turn the music off before it’s even really began. I’ve been using the term grunge a lot lately in the bands I’ve been reviewing, and I don’t really want to use the term again now, but it’s the only applicable sound I’d say matches these guys. Again, the band members aren’t untalented (they play grungey songs quite well), but the most engaging part of the show was when drummer Riley threw his shoes off the stage. With a new vocalist, or a change in vocal direction, the restrictions currently in place would float away as easily as gig goers’ attention did. Vocalist “L. Ewin” does have a good lot of passion and stage presence, but the intentionally out-of-tune stylings of some vocalists isn’t quite matched here. Moonfaker finished with their lead single Cut Your Hands, before encoring with band members and crowd-members on stage for Blitzkrieg Bop.