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Stompy & The Heat

The Tote

Celebrating the release of their self-titled debut album (Waterfront Records) at Melbourne’s thankfully salvaged music institution, the Tote, is Stompy & The Heat (S&TH), the lovechild of Scott Wilson and drummer Pete “The Heat” Marin. With both men having worked alongside Dan Sultan on his commendable album Get Out While You Can, and praised regularly for their energy and unity on stage, S&TH propound no less, and the enthusiasm and conviction of the band is truly endearing.

Wilson has claimed that the band and their sound were truly born when he purchased his Norma brand guitar, saying that, “This cranky old Japanese monster had a sound unlike more common guitars,” and the riffs assembled on it provide the foundations to tracks such as Thanks To You and Don’t Tell Me; the former being particularly well received and jived to by the crowd.

Open about his discomfort as the lead singer, Wilson brings on board the charismatic Bow Campbell (Front End Loader), who does a hell of a lot of justice to the songs strummed by Wilson and band. With the album almost 18 months in creation – a considerable lift on the casual month Wilson initially anticipated it would take to craft – few topics are left untouched, and tales of aliens, zombies, motorcycles, the devil and Mongolian warriors, among other things, are regaled to the audience’s delight. Better still, Vasco Era bassist Ted O’Neil and independent local Kim Dellavedova add more to the richness and raw talent of S&TH. If you think this suggests that Wilson isn’t capable on his own however, think again, or simply watch him run through a handful of riffs, intros and guitars on Channel 31’s Guitar Gods & Masterpieces – the man’s a genius.

Closing with the powerful Black Lightning, S&TH affirm that when it comes to playing proper rock’n’roll, being unforgiving, appropriately reckless and totally unpretentious are qualities too rarely seen and undervalued. Campbell’s parting dialogue is the ultimate leveller, closing with the humbling, “It would have been really weird if no one turned up. Thank you very much for coming.”

Written by Izzy Tolhurst

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