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Live Review: '68, Grenadiers, A Ghost Orchestra, Coves

21 July 2017 | 3:31 pm | Tom Johnston

"Wacky guitar effects, choppy vocals and looping consumed their set as showmanship reigned supreme."

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After many weeks on the road, it was finally time for Adelaide to receive '68. It was more than just a show though, it felt like a class, a lesson from '68 frontman Josh Scogin, who has had a full and tireless career having played in both Norma Jean and The Chariot.

Coves kicked off the night and there was no slowing them down as they pummelled Enigma Bar with punk grooves and heavy breakdowns, doing justice to a genre that was bred from Scogin's past work. While their physical intent on the stage was matched by a focus on their instruments, it was an emotional song at the halfway point that made Coves stand out.

A Ghost Orchestra wound back the clock, playing in a style along the lines of Scogin's The Chariot. Blast beats, stops and hardcore madness had obviously been learnt from Scogin's controlled yet fluid method to musical chaos. Opening with the first song off their new album Blood, there was just as many fingers flying across fretboards as there were bodies through the air.

While Grenadiers' frontman Jesse Coulter asked the audience to talk among themselves during sound check, the room was already emanating a certain friendliness and chatter. Having not played Enigma in about "five years", the boys quickly dismissed any doubts that they'd been slacking in that time. Their short, sharp and shiny onslaught of suburban punk wasn't just an indicator of talent, but years of hard work.

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A minimalist kit, a single guitar and one microphone finally graced the stage. Ironically as each act had one less member, the bands got consecutively louder. As a two-piece, '68 sounded massive. Wacky guitar effects, choppy vocals and looping consumed their set as showmanship reigned supreme - at one moment channelling The Dillinger Escape Plan, another Sunn O))). Yet having pulled out all the tricks from his blazer sleeve, at the core '68 were everything Scogin has always embodied - to be something different. There were no questions to be asked about their coordination, nor was there to be any about Scogin's character. He entertained us, singing lyrics from bands like At The Drive-In, and humbled us, saying how rare it is for every support band to actually sound good. A tribute to minimalism, they showed up any duo in the industry by proving to be the loudest, most brash and the most emotional - Two Parts Viper, but one part man.