Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Nation Blue


The Nation Blue, Zond & Late Arvo Sons @ the Tote
It happens at least a couple of times a year, the good people at the Tote come up with a bill so well considered that you just know it’s gonna be a banger of a night. This one will be filed as a hum-dinger.
If you’ve caught any of my previous Late Arvo Sons summations it’ll be pretty well clear that I’m a fan. They once again set a new bar for themselves on this occasion with a crisp sound mix and sparked energy levels. With typical Australian surf-pub-garage rock style, guitarist Kent Thomas’ melodies came right off the page. Mark Lording’s vocals growled out from the pit of his gut and the rhythm section of Brett Frost (bass) and Stuart Reynolds (drums) banged out their firmest performance to date.
My new favourite band is Zond. These girls and guys have taken a car crash, injected melody, put it in a blender and unleashed it on our ears. Zond take rock (or post-rock, or noise, or something) to the edge of extreme and then over the brink. They are a must see, but remember your earplugs kids. They ripped my ears new arseholes!
Having caught The Nation Blue at the Spectrum Bar in a previous life in Sydney, I hooked in to guitarist and screamer Tom Lyngcoln’s on-stage psychosis and have never been quite able to shake the memory. Things aren’t much different this night and his fury twists and builds through a set of frustrated forays into the darkest realities of the Australian condition—colonialism, land theft and suburban boganics.
The hand blistering guitar spasms of 2007’s Exile seized charge of the room from the get go. Idiot from 2004’s ‘Damnation’ conjured the strongest crowd response, but it was the title track from said album that drove the nails the deepest—slowed to a crawl with venom. Matt Weston’s bass jags and Dan McKay’s drum fills were set tighter than a cat’s arse as these three brought a taste of proper hardcore back to town.