26-Jul-2011 Annandale Hotel, Sydney
July 23, 2011
Supports: I Exist, Lo!
Review and pix by Brendan Delavere
Heading down to the Annandale Hotel for what could possibly be the last gig this reviewer will ever see there, I was greeted with a reasonably balmy night for this time of year and the abrasive sounds of openers Lo!
Eccentric time signatures, sludgy riffs and heavy bass lines, one could say the love child of Mastodon and Converge. Amassing a large crowd of punters and friendly hecklers, the Sydney quartet kicked off the night with “Deluge”, “Doth” and “Fire at the Child Actors Guild”, all tracks off their EP. The band displayed a technique, style and stage persona all their own, owning the stage, and the bar, they set the level for Canberra’s own I Exist to knock down and reset.
Sounding like a molten tar pit on speed, I Exist took the stage spewing forth downright brutal sludge riffs in the vein of Eyehategod, with a good mix of old school hardcore and stoner rock thrown in for good measure. Touring on the back of recent release II: The Broken Passage, The band were in 6 piece mode tonight, and absolutely shook the venue to its foundations.
Guitarist Josh “JJ Lawhore” Nixon brought the riff to the masses -- as well as his distinct cheesy stage antics – and couple that with Aaron’s guitar solos and the down tuned drum and bass rhythm section, I Exist have written a recipe for absolute destructive riffage. Closing with “Temptress” and the bone crushing “A-bomb”, the crowd were left shattered, with many scrambling towards the merch desk.
As the first crushing note reverberated around the small room of the Annandale, it was obvious that the monstrous gloom that is Doomriders had descended upon Sydney. Opening with “Ride or Die”, it was apparent the band were in a universe all their own, dominating every aspect of the stage, the audience only teetering on the verge of being sucked in to the whirlwind cacophony of sound… only for an amp head to give out, part way into the second song.
After a short break and some friendly banter due to the technical difficulties, Nate Newtown, also of Converge, proved once more why Doomriders are sonically and undeniably, unforgettably brutal. An hour passed and not once did their assault falter, the ruthless drumming of recent recruit, Q, and hurricane force of Jebb Riley’s bass at the back of Chris Pupecki’s riff fests left punters in undeniable awe.
Departing stage before returning only moments later to complete their set, Doomriders let fly with “Black Thunder”. Grooving rhythm section, crushing riffs, perforated ears, this closing finale was testament to what the Annandale is all about, punters heading out to witness one of the finest heavy stoner bands around.