Ugly Kid Joe blasted the living hell out of the Croxton Bandroom

Posted by Christine Tsimbis.

The spacious area in the Croxton Bandroom was steadily filling up with people as Tim McMillan played his quirky tunes onstage, and he successfully pumped up the crowd for Dallas Frasca to then light up the stage with her booming vocals and raging persona that was determined to show everybody what rock ‘n’ roll is truly made of.

Once Frasca had everybody begging for more, Ugly Kid Joe took over the joint and started hammering out Neighbour, which naturally drove everybody insane since it’s a classic from their most well-known album America’s Least Wanted. A lot of the crowd consisted of people who have been fans of the band for 25 years since they released that album, which made their performance extra special to witness. There were so many nostalgic vibes from everybody who had grown up with the band, especially since the band had initially broke up but then reunited again, and everybody was appreciating the band’s enthusiastic team spirit.

Jesus Rode A Harley was humorous to witness played live, since the lyricism is cheeky and shows the band likes to have fun with their music. C.U.S.T was rough and relentless, as Crane’s animalistic growls and screams in between lyrics captivated his audience and depicted his impressive vocal range. The rest of the band intensified the set with their heavy guitar streaks and pummeling drums, adding fuel to the rock ‘n’ roll fire that makes Ugly Kid Joe such a distinctive band since the late ‘80s.

After playing classics such as No One Survives and Devil’s Paradise, Ugly Kid Joe showed some love to their crew from the UK and their supporting bands, even inviting Frasca and her parents onstage and asking the audience to ‘give it up for mum and dad’, which was a really endearing sight to witness. Crane then dedicated their song Cats in the Cradle to mum and dad in general, performing it wonderfully and providing a nice contrast to the other punk songs.

This temporary switch in musical style didn’t last long – Ugly Kid Joe jumped straight back into skater grunge mode, the Goddamn Devil being one of those songs that evoked a frenetic response in the audience that matched Crane’s own crazy energy on the stage. At one point, the band decided to let some of the other acts play to the audience – there was Soldier with his wicked guitar solo that absolutely killed it, there was Tim McMillan who played two songs with extremely catchy hooks – and at one point, a whimsical rap that was sung way too fast for me to understand any of its lyrics – and some psychotic guitar strumming that didn’t last long but really made you admire Tim’s randomness onstage.

Crane was regularly challenging the audience, getting them to shout as loud as they could, just because Ugly Kid Joe wanted everybody to expose their raw selves and just let loose and have fun. They performed a few more songs, and even invited Frasca back onstage to sing AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap with Crane. Their duo act was almost too much to hot to handle; their blazing vocals and fierce stage presence were just addictive to witness live, and the audience loved every moment. Ugly Kid Joe threw a hell of a fucking awesome performance, proving that rock ‘n’ roll certainly isn’t dead.

Highlight: Cats in the Cradle – it really brought back that ‘90s nostalgia within the audience.
Lowlight: Nothing
Crowd favourite: Goddamn Devil

[Featured image from Google Images] 


J. Cole absolutely owned the stage at the Margaret Court Arena

Posted by Christine Tsimbis.

Ari Lennox grabbed everybody’s attention at the Margaret Court Arena with her soulful vocals, enhancing their excitement as Earth Gang then took the stage and powered up the vibe with their lively rapping performance. J.I.D then further pumped up the audience with their fiery persona, and people were dancing and having a fun time.

Bas captivated everybody with his catchy vocals and smooth rhythm, and by the time he was finished, the anticipation in waiting for J. Cole’s appearance was very evident as the crowd kept cheering whenever they saw somebody emerge, since they thought it was him. The stage was being re-assembled into a makeshift prison, a grey barrier of doom with large silver gates. Eventually the lights dim, and those gates open, revealing Cole dressed in an orange prison uniform as he struts out through the gates and onto the stage. The crowd cheers wildly and people in their seats stand up anxiously, not wanting to miss a single second of his grand entrance.

Cole didn’t waste any time on his newfound release into the world – he immediately broke out with his first song, For Whom The Bell Tolls, injecting so much ferocious energy into his vocals that he rallied up the crowd in the matter of seconds. Moving his hands frantically in the air and yelling into the microphone, it almost felt like Cole was bursting all his pent up rage at the audience, and they absolutely loved every moment of it.

Along with projecting a brilliant stage persona, Cole was also determined to get deep and personal with his audience; he eagerly shared his anecdotal accounts that inspired the creation of his songs, such as Ville Mentality, which is about a young man who has a ‘live for the moment mentality’ and doesn’t have time to worry about tomorrow or next month because he just wants to get through today. While Cole stated that he respects this man’s mentality, he also emphasised on the importance of having dreams, achieving your goals and soaking in every moment instead of being stuck on stuff that happened in the past or being anxious about the future.

He then asked the audience to live in the moment, just for tonight, and everybody cheered him on for being such a real person. Ari Lennox then gets onstage and collaborates with Cole on his song Change, and their duet was an endearing sight to watch. Work Out showed Cole energetically moving up and down the stage, as the audience sung along to his vocals and fist pumped the air.

Neighbours was a real eye-opener to watch, as Cole threw a rager of a performance and then explained the story behind the song, animatedly describing how police invaded his studio due to their suspicion that he stored drugs in there and was also selling it. Cole even showed footage of the police breaking into his studio, mocking them for their efforts in trying to pin him for something he never did. He had everybody cracking up as he pointed out what was happening in the video, and his defiance of authority figures was infectious.

Love Yourz also had the audience singing along to every word, as they shined their phone torches in the air and created a united front of dedicated fans who were truly immersed in Cole’s show. Cole also delivered Wet Dreamz smoothly, investing his heart and soul into his vocals as the audience responded to his passion, and he further increased the momentum through Power Trip, before walking back through the gates and briefly pretending that the show was finished.

Cole’s exit didn’t last long, however; he eagerly returned to the stage and joked with the crowd that he couldn’t even make his exit convincing. He then threw a fantastic performance of No Role Modelz, and the crowd cheered him on so loudly that he was bound to have felt the strength of their love for him. Cole thanked everybody for supporting him and promised them that he wouldn’t take so long to return to Australia again.

Highlight: Cole’s entrance onto the stage through the prison gates – he truly revved the crowd up and then his energetic performance of For Whom The Bell Tolls drove everybody crazy.

Lowlight: Nothing at all.

Crowd favorite: Neighbours.

The Coronas put on a stellar performance at the Corner Hotel

Posted by Beat Magazine

The buzzing anticipation was evident as Roesy took the stage, putting on a great performance and showcasing their wonderful talent. People were piling in by the dozen as the Coronas made their entrance onto the stage.

The Coronas immediately captured the attention of their audience, playing a mix of hits from their new album Trust The Wire among older songs. ‘Real Feel’ was a melodic dream, with frontman Danny showcasing his refined vocals and the rest of the band putting on an energetic performance.

‘We Couldn’t Fake It’was rhythmic, as Danny’s vocals radiated with emotion. The audience responded positively to the band’s raw passion, and the lively guitars and drums were captivating to listen to. There were also wonderful synth hooks in ‘Addicted to Progress’, which enhanced the indie-pop vibe that the Coronas were pumping onstage.

The Coronas were just as elated as their fans to perform live, and they thanked everybody for constantly sticking by them. Just to further show their gratitude to everybody, they even ran a draw for people to win prizes, which included a signed CD and a backstage pass. Naturally, this further hyped everybody up, and those who were lucky to win were cheered by the rest of the crowd.

One of the Corona’s most notable performances was their passionate delivery of the sugary sweet ‘What a Love’. Before playing the song, Danny asked everybody to give the person beside them a hug, just to spread the love. It was endearing to see how quickly most people were willing to join in, and the vibes that radiated throughout this process were lovely.

Along with playing tracks from Trust The Wire, The Coronas also dug into their past, playing memorable tracks such as ‘Closer To You’ and ‘Mark My Words’. Fans immediately basked in their nostalgia as they sung along to every verse, and their eagerness in witnessing these classics being played live was contagious.

The band’s stage presence was mesmerising. They projected an energetic and down-to-earth demeanour, and their combination of folk rock and indie pop only enhanced their upbeat disposition.

Highlight: Meet and greet with the band backstage – everybody was super nice.
Lowlight: Nothing.
Crowd Favourite:What a Love’.

The Corrs : Jupiter Calling

Posted by Beat Magazine

Jupiter Calling projects a magical fairytale just as strongly as its predecessors, cadenced with vocalist Andrea Corr’s dreamy vocals and the band’s playful mix of instrumentation to create an upbeat yet complex piece of art.

While The Corrs aren’t afraid to create uplifting melodies, their music is also deep and soulful in the way it explores love, romance and companionship. Opener ‘Son of Solomon’ is seductive, comparing love to wine and seeking light in the darkness of the soul. It’s all crooned in sweet vocals that are layered with gentle acoustics and a wonderful violin composition.

‘Bulletproof Love’ also features beautiful acoustics, which then give way to an upbeat and playful rhythm in the chorus. However, among all the fairytale vibes of love and light, there is also loss and pain injected into Jupiter Calling. The emotional depth is creatively projected through harmonic melodies, but it’s still beating with an intensity of its own. ‘No Go Baby’ really plucks at the heartstrings; the lyricism is striking and reverberates with heartache and grief. ‘The Sun and the Moon’ is emotional in its exploration of loss, ending the album with a mystical yet candid ambience.

My rating: 8/10

On ‘Synthesis’, Evanescence will make you wonder how you can feel so much at once

Posted by Beat Magazine

Evanescence have been experimenting with their sound since the release of their self-titled album in 2012, playing around with the arrangements of their songs by stripping back their distinctive guitar and drum beats and progressing to a more synthesised orchestral work of art that is melodramatic and brilliantly composed.

Their new album Synthesis is riveting with its haunting melodies and Amy Lee’s crystalline vocals that convey so much piercing emotion. Her vocals resonate with sorrow, angst and despair, yet they are beautifully refined and persistent as they needle their way into the hearts of listeners. The twists and turns in Synthesis are sharp and heart wrenching, creating a powerful album that’s driven to take the listener on a sensory journey that will both enlighten and unsettle them. ‘Never Go Back’ utilises Lee’s vocal range, painting a portrait of darkness and despair with its melancholy strings and the addition of electronic synth to spice things up.

The refined instrumentation in Synthesis is captivating and immersive; it’s intricately composed of intertwining sounds that inspire different reactions. Lee’s vocals are so powerful that they’re liberating; they prove to be a cathartic release of all our trapped emotions and hidden tensions. ‘Lacrymosa’has a riveting orchestral compilation that puts chills up and down your spine, and Lee’s vocals are awe-inspiring in how delicate yet strong they are.

Lithium’ incorporates chiming bells and sorrowful synth. There are haunting piano melodies, and epic breakdowns in the chorus, just to intensify the conflicting feelings that the listeners are already grappling with. As always, Evanescence has thrown their listeners onto an emotional rollercoaster, and effectively enhances their introspective frame of mind as they explore their own interpretations to the music.

Synthesis has that moody contemplative feel; it makes you reflect on your thoughts, your life, and the way your mind and body are responding to the music. It makes you contemplate how someone can convey their pain and anguish in such an artistically expressive way. The classics ‘Bring Me Back To Life’ and ‘My Immortal’ are also here, somewhat altered with the addition of synth and string combinations, but still resonating with the same feel since their original releases.

Synthesis as a whole is a brilliant album, filled with plenty of lurching sensations that make you wonder how a band can make you feel so many things at once. Evanescence have still got that raw skill and unparalleled talent that make them such a joy to listen to, and their music will forever impact on the hearts and souls of their listeners.

My rating: 9.5/10

Dystopia on community and showcasing a different side of music

Posted by Beat Magazine

“A lot of these acts deserve to be gaining more traction in terms of the audiences they have and the followings they have.”

Dystopia will soon bring together Australia’s best gothic/industrial/dark electronic acts, including Shiv-r, Coffin Carousel, SNUFF, and Zen Robotic. Beat had a chat to event producer and Zen Robotic’s lead vocalist Thom O’Leary, who was eager to discuss Dystopia’s lineup and how the event thrives upon the growth of the goth community in Melbourne.

“I think whoever comes to Dystopia will love it.  Even a lot of people who wouldn’t expect to love it will love it,” says O’Leary. “There’s Shiv-r, who are a world-class act. They were originally from New South Wales but they relocated to the UK where they were based for a while, and they had toured over 20 countries before deciding to come back and live in Australia again, so they’re Melbourne based now. They have an international reputation within the industrial scene.”

O’Leary continues to enthusiastically discuss the other acts, such as Coffin Carousel. ‘They’ve recently signed to a U.S label and they’ve been based in Melbourne for six or seven years. They released an album in October so they definitely look like they’re about to take off.

“DJ Lobotomy will also be doing some DJing in between the sets of the live acts, so he’ll definitely keep the vibe of the night going while we’re doing changeovers and later on in the night too,’ O’Leary says. “He’s even been a really good mentor to me because he’s organised a lot of these events. He’s been a really good help in terms of having someone to talk to.

“I’ve seen all these acts before and I say there are no weak links in the lineup,” O’Leary says. ‘They create really great music and really great performances and I think a lot of these acts deserve to be gaining more traction in terms of the audiences they have and the followings they have.”

O’Leary also highlights other events in the goth community, such as Deviate which shut down a few years ago and then New Order was created which has been running for three years. There’s also club events like Fang and Haunt that play industrial music with gothic vibes.

“A lot of those gigs are pretty much DJs playing that music,” he says. ‘I suppose there’s a bit of spread in that community into metal and punk, so a lot of the same people will get into black metal and death metal on one side, and then there’s a whole movement of post-punk music. The main thing that we showcase is dark electronic industrial. We don’t quite fit into metal, punk, or straight up electronic.

“This started out being a dark electronic industrial gig, but a couple of acts like Coffin Carousel and Katherine Hymer don’t really fit into that category. It’s not about trying to fit everyone into that category. Even my own band Zen Robotic is quite diverse in the material we have, but sometimes it’s good to touch on different scenes and communities and build relationships with people.”

O’Leary has also made the observation that goth nightclubs today don’t draw as much interest from people in the mainstream as they used to in the ‘90s.

“I think one of the things about the ‘90s is that it was a real heyday for that type of music. You had Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and a lot more acts that were bigger in the mainstream scene,” he says. “It’s interesting because I found in recent times you don’t get many people at goth nightclubs like that.

“Part of people getting into scenes and communities is that often there’s something in the mainstream that will get them in. In the last five years there hasn’t been anything mainstream that’s got a lot of kids into this stuff. Our demographic does tend to be late 20s and 30s, and there’d be some people older than that.”

Nevertheless, O’Leary does acknowledge that Melbourne is a very diverse community that is accepting of all walks of life. Therefore, Dystopia will hopefully draw a range of different people. “We’ve all got our own acts and our own agendas,” O’Leary says. “The main thing is that we wanted to come together and put on an event that we hope is awesome.”

Dystopia will take over 24 Moons on Friday November 17, featuring Shiv-R, Coffin Carousel, Snuff, Zen Robotic, and more.


[print version]


Jarface : Now They See

Posted by Beat Magazine

Now They See is raw with fiery energy and drive. Opener ‘Rise’ kicks off with choppy riffs and drums, instantly radiating an alternative rock feel that is engaging to listen to. ‘Absolution’ is just as filled with heavy grunge goodness as ‘Sucker’, while ‘Burn The Effigy’ adds more fuel to the fire by throwing screaming vocals and hoarse chanting into the mix – revealing a more metal-inspired edge that creates variety amongst the rock‘n’roll and grunge that Jarface enjoy hammering out. ‘Kneel’is full of heavy guitar streaks and thundering drums, creating a dirty rock feel that resonates with the ‘90s grunge era.

‘All The Same’ features swirling riffs and drums that create a catchy rhythm for the listener to cruise to. ‘Child’ features slowly sung vocals that sound hypnotic, lulling the listener into a relaxed state before adopting a more raw edge in the chorus and adding heavy guitars and drums to suddenly yank their listeners out of their reveries. Closing track ‘Throw Me Away’ is full of gritty grunge and blazing guitars that create a firecracker ending to a great album.

My rating: 8/10