LIVE: Wavevom, White Blanks, Grouse, Pist Idiots @ Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney, 23rd Oct

Four killer guitar bands tear the face off a Sunday night in Sydney

Pist Idiots

Pist Idiots sound and act exactly like you think they do – until, brilliantly, they don’t. With a name like that and openers like “Surry Hills” – with its mentions of constable-related trouble – this is Sham 69 territory all the way. But halfway through they drop one that channels the Detroit Cobras. Then there’s one that sounds like a proper band that is most definitely not called Pist Idiots. Then there’s the last one, which is just fucking awesome no matter which way you slice it. The depth and range is surprising, and not a little bit impressive.

Grouse

Grouse’s recorded stuff on the internet doesn’t even get close to doing this justice. The mp3s reek of 90s Britain but are lit by a beachside sunset – there are guitars, sure, but, it’s laid back and chill. Live, it tears the damn paint off the walls. If you’ve ever wondered what it’d sound like if Hockey Dad had a bassist, now you know.

I come completely new to them tonight but there are apparently a bunch of new ones scattered into the set tonight and the last one they play is absolutely grade-A killer, and that’s compared to a good handful of tunes I instantly dig on. Add them to your lists, right now.

White Blanks

I’ve been trying to see White Blanks for a couple of years now, and for dumbass reasons kept missing them. Tonight is a lesson in delayed gratifcation – holy hell, they were fun. It’s way too easy for bands to let influences override personality, so that what you’re trying to sound like drowns out who you are. Not here. This is a band with their own voice and it’s both chock full of great songs and fucking hilarious.

Inter-song banter includes stories of drinking bong water, there’s instrument swapping – which is much funnier when the swappers have a height difference of about a foot and a half – and the whole vibe just screams at you to have some fun. The songs though have real meat – think Hockey Dad on a five-day smoke bender and steroids – with the penultimate “Get Better” both looser and waaay bigger than on record.

Worth waiting for? Oh my, yes.

Wavevom

There’s only two of Wavevom but Newcastle seems to be bursting at the seams with energetic punks, and these two balls of kinetic madness fire it up from note one and don’t stop.

Most two-pieces seem to try super-hard to compensate for being so sparse, and fill the sound out to make sure it sounds like a full band. Wavevom go a different route, channelling British Oi, the Slits, twenty years of lo-fi, and the best party you never got invited to. The guitars ring, the vocals swerve all over the road, and the whole sound trucks straight through brick walls without even touching the brakes – it might be Sunday night, but no-one gets a breath of rest tonight. And no-one regrets it for a second.

FULL PHOTO GALLERIES

Wavevom

White Blanks

Grouse

Pist Idiots