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Live Review: A Wilhelm Scream, The Decline, Hightime

30 May 2016 | 5:05 pm | Will Oakeshott

"The whole time the band appeared to be in paradise which must have included a slingshot and a trampoline..."

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There are an extensive range of Adelaide punk acts that could have opened this event in excellent fashion; thankfully this position was bestowed upon hardcore reggae punk quartet Hightime, which in short was the CORRECT selection.

The four-piece were gleeful in their delivery and with their inclusion, repetitively chanting their thanks to the other bands and their devoted admirers. Frontwoman Nina McCann was a bundle of energy, bouncing around on her bare feet like an excited child but accomplishing perfect vocal renditions of the band's songs. This is perfectly rounded out by the intricate guitar playing of Reuben Davis, the smooth bass lines of Jay Illman and excited drumming of Dave McCann. Nothing Wasted and Turn It Around were stellar, but the true highlight was a new song that channelled Surfaris' Wipeout both musically and in stature. It may not have been the largest crowd, but Hightime certainly had absolutely every spectator in the venue's attention; surely that says enough.

Perth's skate-thrash punks The Decline had the responsibility of main support for this entire tour and were indisputably going to make the best go of it. Opening track Start Again stamped their authority and the "fun" literally kicked up a notch with it; New Again followed perfectly, the four-piece maintaining their energy and punching through their songs with an easy chemistry. Putain De Chaine Alimentaire, The Blurst Of Times, 66B, Almost Never Met You, I Don't Believe and blockbuster closer Showertime In The Slammer had Adelaide paying attention. Inspired by the likes of NOFX (the Western Australians took their name from their infamous track The Decline), early Bodyjar and with a slight hint of heavier Sum 41, it is by no means a new formula, but it is still entertaining for all ages, as a pre-teen grommet on a friend's shoulders would happily attest to. The best was still to come.

Even a smaller audience than was likely expected was not going to dampen the ever positive five men of Massachusetts, A Wilhelm Scream; they hit the stage smiling and the entire population at Uni Bar went into happiness overload. The King Is Dead was the gunshot marking the start of the "exhilaration metaphorical battle", the crowd captivated by the quintet's high energy and grinning faces. A Wilhelm Scream's main goal was to make this occasion as memorable as possible and the setlist absolutely mirrored that — the proficiency of Skid Rock was unparalleled, but this skill just carried on song by song. I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz, Anchor End, Born A Wise Man, The Soft Sell, The Last Laugh, The Horse, The Rip and Famous Friends & Fashion Drunks were gargantuan live and inspired crowdsurfing, fist-pumping, moshing and singing at the top of Uni Bar's collective lungs. The whole time the band appeared to be in paradise, which must have included a slingshot and a trampoline considering how much they shot across the stage and how high they jumped off it. To commemorate drummer Nicholas Pasquale Angelini's birthday a cake was brought out, but the "real" birthday song came in the rendition of Chicken Burger which acted as an encore — a rather hilarious conclusion in retrospect. It may have worked better in a smaller venue, more South Australians SHOULD have made the effort to witness what unfolded, but those who did left on the "punk rock cloud nine" that A Wilhelm Scream constantly supply to their followers. For that Australia gives eternal thanks.

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