Black Sabbath



Full Scale Revolution



Big Ass Tour

Chris Cornell


17-Dec-2012 Town Hall Hotel, Newtown (Sydney)
December 15, 2012
Bands: Broozer, Nobody Knew They Were Robots, Agonhymn, Ya̧nomamö
Review by Brian Giffin
Pix by Albert Gestal

There was an embarrassment of riches for the Sydney live music fan this evening with the Hordern hosting the Parkway/Prom Queen show, Jeff Martin doing another of his seemingly endless acoustic gigs at inner city rooms, the Psychotic Turnbuckles filling the Bald Faced Stag and the Datsuns playing the Annandale. This punter opted for the lesser-appreciated end of the spectrum and fronted up to Newtown's Town Hall Hotel for this doom/drone/sludge extravaganza.

The Townie has been a regular after-gig hang for musos and fans in Sydney for a donkey's age. For the last couple of years the place has been hosting gigs as well, though in a typical pub management paint-everyone-with-the-same-brush attitude, due to some indescretion by a band the previous week, it had been decided that tonight's bill would be the final one by "heavy" bands, because obviously every single "heavy" band attacks people and breaks stuff everywhere they play. Whatever, the evening's entertainment was opened by Ya̧nomamö, a four-piece Sydney sludge factory who have decided to take going retro to a whole other level by releasing their music on cassette. While the band laid down a musical foundation that began with Black Sabbath, moved through various shades of Melvins and Electric Wizard and ended back where it started, frontman Anthony von Grimm dangled from the air-conditioning pipes, waded into the crowd and rolled around on the floor like he was demented. Nothing got busted and no one got hurt though.

Agonhymn is a two-piece drone doom unit that plays so slowly they have to speed up to stop. The pair held the crowd in a trance-like grip evoked by repetitive, epic-scale riffs and minimalistic drums at a pace so glacial it was virtually hypnotic, offset at seemingly random moments by bursts of coarse black metal, violent screaming and a snippet of Metallica's "Battery". That caused a ripple of ironic laughter to break out around the room at the very thought of Agonhymn busting out into such a wrist-breakingly fast track directly after playing one of the slowest songs imaginable. Still nothing had been broken and the only thing being assaulted was eardrums.

With their uniform of blue wife-beaters, the Broozer lads looked like they might want to crack a few skulls as they stepped up to launch their killer 12.4.12 slab, but all they punched out was a crushing set of stripped back, raw as hell sludge metal like a bar-room meeting between Iron Monkey and Motorhead, a take-no-prisoners battering ram of riffery. Banter was minimal as they let their music do the talking, stomping all over the now fairly decent sized crowd with a bone-jarring and hard as nails assault, but by the end of the set no one was hurt and the building was still standing.

That could have changed when Nobody Knew They Were Robots entered the picture but by the time they did it was so late they didn't get to do much. Clay Segelov rambled extensively and traded barbs with Ceinwen from 8 Ball Junkies before a sudden explosion of Dillinger-inspired movement and noise scattered a few of those foolish enough to get too close. Robots are an entertaining unit even if they're hard to define and spend as much time cracking jokes and waffling on than playing music. Being the piker I am though I bailed before I got to see much more than what's described here but I'm pretty sure they weren't smashing things or brutalising punters as I left so perhaps there's some "heavy" bands around that don't do that sort of thing. I heard later that the bouncers got a little out of hand toward some of the patrons but as someone who once got kicked out of there after only one beer just for looking drunk, that surprises me not at all.

Heavy Metal Merchant


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