LIVE: Super Best Friends, Horror My Friend, The Post, Skinpin, Milkk @ Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, 29th Aug

Milkk

I’m a storyteller, I can’t help it, and so instrumental bands usually leave me a bit cold. Milkk though totally crack that code for me tonight – if you’re not going to talk to the audience then the instruments need to talk to each other, which they totally do here, in spades. A three-piece with two guitars and no bass, the lines and hooks just chatter and clatter away incessantly, called and answered, skittering about like they’re the best of pals. The fact that each song isn’t overly long appeals to my diminishing attention span and that each one is REALLY BLOODY LOUD doesn’t hurt. For the first time, I actually understood what an instrumental band was saying. Cracking stuff.

See a full photo set of Milkk here

Skinpin

In all the world, in all of history, in all the millions of songs available to everyone one click away, there is nothing so simple and effective and brutal as a three-piece with a few chords, no speed limit, and the hump. Skinpin know this. Tonight they batter their way through about a million songs in thirty minutes and cover precisely two moods – really fucking cross and really fucking happy. This is the music that you should get out of bed to every day, the soundtrack to every dumb indignity and sense of indignation you ever have, the release of all your anger and vitriol and pent-up BWAAARGH condensed into two minute chunks and played at speeds so fast it cracks windows. SG guitar pointiness, basses worn so low you could stub a toe and drums – holy shit, this drummer! – that just stand on your head and claw your eyes out.

See a full photo set of Skinpin here

The Post

It’s The Post‘s first show in Sydney tonight and it’s a nice way to meet, that’s for sure. Singer Ryan channels that Placebo or Violent Femmes whine and splays it all over some gorgeously huge tunes, in particular the excellent ‘Bodies’, which has a chorus that just lights up the damn sky. It’s a rich, thick, distorted soup of meaty punkish song, the sort of thing to shake the cobwebs off and lift any mood. Y’all come back soon now, y’hear?

See a full photo set of The Post here

Horror My Friend

No, really, Horror My Friend are just getting stupidly good now. The whole set tonight is dense and loud and packed full of awesome in ways that are sure to please even the most miserable bugger in town. Or, me. I could spend a considerable portion of time thinking up nifty analogies or I could just say this – Horror My Friend are about as fine a guitar band as you’re likely to see right now. Get to it kids, this is not a drill.

See a full photo set of Horror My Friend here

Super Best Friends

If you could turn a band into a flick-knife, and make it funny at the same time, it’d be Super Best Friends. Latest one ‘All My Friends Are Leaving Town’ is deployed early on tonight and is just as brutal and brilliant live as in its madly dog-filled video. This leaves us free to enjoy a truckload of staccato riffing, ear-splitting volume, huge melody, and a massive pile of fun for the rest of the set. It’s equal parts menacing, unhinged, controlled and hilarious – how could you *not* have fun to this?

Plus you might learn something, since Super Best Friends are one of the (depressingly) few openly political bands around today. As well as weaving social commentary into their songs, we get plenty of it in-between too, with songs dedicated to Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine – “we don’t want to be sexist, she sucks too” – and to the venue, the Captain Cook Hotel, which allows them to remind us of the hypocrisy of how “boat people from 200 years ago don’t like boat people today.”

It’s consistently strong stuff, with each hardcore bit of screaming in one place balanced with a lighters-up pop melody in another, which is an excellent trick and lots of fun. Tight, talented, sharp as a razor, and loaded with heart, wit and conscience – it’s the full package, and tonight shows just how vital a band they are right now.

See a full photo set of Super Best Friends here

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