Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Live Review: DEAP VALLY, GUNG HO
Northcote Social Club, 6/04/2013'We're Gung Ho from Brisbane thanks for coming down' says bassist and singer Oliver Duncan, to the fans huddled at the foot of stage. Often in danger of being overshadowed by the charisma of drummer James Wright, songs ease in and out of moods; the chugging bass lines and whipped beats underpinning Michael McAlary’s fluid guitar riffs and vocal melodies. First single Twin Rays showcases Wright’s sticksmanship, and is a clear highlight. Between in-jokes, matey banter and moments of genuine fun and hilarity, Gung Ho punch a dynamite set full of clean and heavy riff-driven Rapture-esque post punk. Current single Strangers and closing triumph Side By Side are further great examples of atmospheric, breakneck pop, but even more than that, Gung Ho are guys you want to spend time with.
Seemingly in existence for about half an hour (though actually formed in 2011), California two-piece Deap Vally hit the stage to rowdy cheers. Bedecked in sequins and denim, drummer Julie Edwards and guitarist and singer Lindsey Troy look as though nothing after 1977 – bar a set of extra-heavy guitar strings - ever entered their consciousness. True to blues-rock form, instrumentation (and, in this case, clothing) is sparse and room for personality is large, so within a few songs you feel you know a little about the duo. In fact, several pledges of marriage are shouted and coyly dispatched before the end of the third song. 'Hello Melbourne, we have found our homeland it's called Melbourne,’ smiles Edwards. ‘Sydney was a warm up show for tonight, this is cookin'. And it is. Every song gets louder cheers, a more raucous mosh and a makes for a hoarser, huskier and happier Troy. After one particularly energetic tussle in the crowd Edwards interjects - 'one of you just got fucked up by rock and roll. My apologies and congratulations all at the same time; it’s like bein’ shat on by an ibis'.
Current single Lies (‘a song about an Australian gentleman’), and previous single End of the World are behemoths. Walk of Shame (‘Does that register with anybody? No? You're being coy! Would someone bring me another whiskey?') would earn a thousand Meredith boots. Rarely playing more than one humungous note at a time, Troy hacks at her Mustang to devastating effect. Songs are skeletal; thumping glam rhythms, bass-driven buzzing guitar riffs and howled excoriating vocals. Troy’s voice is a formidable weapon and their songs are excellent vehicles for it. An encore of possibly the heaviest and darkest version of I Put a Spell on You sees Troy collapsing, mic-stand and all, into the front row, consumed by a rabidly affectionate crowd. Rumours of their return for Splendour should see this crowd size quadruple within months.