Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Turnpike, Seaplane, Undead Apes @ 4zzz Carpark (15.08.09)

4zzz's Radiothon has come and gone, so I hope that those of you who weren't subscribers prior to this past week have now changed that. In any case, the Zeds started off their yearly subscription drive last Saturday with an afternoon show in their carpark on St Paul's Terrace, something that was relatively common a few years back and has recently returned as a semi-regular event. The Porridge program was responsible for this particular show, and so we had three loud indie-rock bands (of various sub-types) playing in the winter sun.

Local punk rock frankenstein Undead Apes started things off. The band consists of members of Eat Laser Scumbag, Sekiden, Dick Nasty and Gazoonga Attack, and Undead Apes don't really stray too far from what you would imagine a band featuring such musicians would sound like: it's loud, up-tempo, catchy punk (more of the garagey 'pop-' variety than the 'hardcore-'). Although they've only been around for a relatively small amount of time, they're a pretty tight little outfit - again, as you'd expect given their lineage. Aside from one mix up due to attempting to play a song that was only written a day or two before the show, every song was nailed down tight, coming across with great force. I'm struggling to think of anything substantial to really say about them, other than if you like the previously mentioned bands (or just punk rock in general) then you'd be well advised to check them out.

Seeing as Seaplane's co-frontman Stirling Bartlam hosts the Porridge show, it was no surprise to see his own band on the lineup. They're a fine act so I doubt many people had any complaints. Having gone through a lineup change fairly recently (drummer Conwae Burrell being replaced by Nova Scotia frontman Scotty Brique), it's been reassuring to see that if anything the band has become even tighter. Scott is a louder and slightly more accomplished drummer than Conwae, although not to such a degree that Burrell's trademark roughness has been eliminated. Brique provides the perfect middle ground for the band - sturdy enough to provide a solid base from the two guitarists to throw their signature squall over, but loose enough to continue the previous incarnation's character. This show was amongst their better, with all members being able to stretch out at full volume with a supportive and interested crowd (indeed, Dale Peachey seemed quite incredulous that audience members kept asking him to turn up for once). Most of the set was made up of tracks from their recent 12", such as The Soiree, Plastic Jesus and Feather, with a few older favourites added to mix things up.

It's no secret that Turnpike are one of my very favourite Brisbane bands. If you're at all inclined towards their brand of no-wave/math-rock noise then it's a rare thing to witness a bad Turnpike show (indeed, I can't actually remember ever seeing one, though I'm sure it must have happened at some stage... probably). Although they've been playing a set of largely unreleased songs ever since the arrival of their Humans Find Patterns album a few years back (with the only songs to appear since 2007 being 'Selling, This Century' from their split with Del Toro, and 'Easy Choices For Bad People' from Stranded), it seems that the band has decided to start moving onto new areas regardless. Hence we are treated to a lengthy new song, with the promise of more to come. The new track features drummer Chris tweaking electronic noises for the first third of the song, while Tim plays a continuous 5/4 riff on bass and Adam noodles away on guitar. It's like some sort of minimalist version of Tortoise. Eventually the guitar and bass meld together, the drums enter and things work themselves up to a moderate level of 'rock', before everything explodes into something that can only likened to thrash metal. After a comparatively small amount of ear-shredding the songs calms back down and returns to its origin. It's definitely new territory for the band, and represents another shift in their sound (something that seems to happen every year or two). It will be interesting to see if they continue this new, more abstract direction with their other new material. Hopefully we'll see a new release from these guys in the near future.

1 comment:

Joel said...

i find the new turnpike direction really interesting. hard to explain but the brittle electronic meld well with the driving bass and complex squawking guitar.