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Live Review: Architecture in Helsinki, World's End Press

16 April 2014 | 1:47 pm | Mitch Knox

It’s going to take more than thirtysomething twee sensibilities, nostalgic romanticism and three-song encores (ugh) to keep us interested from here.

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The air outside may be erring on the chilly side, but indoors the warm-and-fuzzies reign supreme as lush, bone-shaking synths and four-to-the-floor disco beats herald the arrival of Melburnian dance-punk darlings World's End Press and open this evening's festivities.

The infectiously endearing four-piece have been garnering an increasingly impressive reputation for their live offerings in the wake of last year's debut full-length, and it doesn't even take a full song to justify their building hype as bodies start moving reflexively in response to the hypnotic, layered soundscapes. Throughout the unrelenting buffet of irresistible grooves, which includes highlights such as the expansive bursts and blooms of Drag Me Home and gleeful funk-lite of Your Time Will Come, the band's members – frontman John Parkinson, Parkinson's ridiculous hair, bassist Sashi Dharann, keyboardist Rhys Richards and drummer Tom Gould – individually prove to be visual and aural delights, missing nary a step throughout their striking set. 

This is an outfit that has tangibly grown its skills in both composition and execution over the past few years, to the point where it doesn't seem a stretch to equate this plucky foursome as our own burgeoning answer to NYC's now-defunct LCD Soundsystem. In essence, you simply couldn't stop this Press, even if you wanted to.

With goodwill flowing and limbs loosened, it's time for veteran party starters Architecture In Helsinki to take the stage. Looking every bit like a Salvo's store violently ejaculated all over a random group of passing nerds, the nine-member-strong (including the three-piece 'Helsinki Horns' section) troupe effortlessly bring their joy-drenched sounds to the table with class and aplomb.

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Using the opportunity to showcase some choice cuts from new LP, Now + 4EVA, even opening their set with last year's beloved, sparkling In The Future, Architecture regardless provide a robust selection from their back catalogue that includes long-perfected gems Hold Music, That Beep, Heart It Races and natural encore-closer, Contact High, ensuring fans old and new alike are kept engaged and clamouring for more throughout the duration of the band's 20-song-strong performance.

Some sweet, if slightly showy, multi-instrumentalism (most notably on the part of keyboardist/dancing king Gus Franklin and drummer James Cecil) provides an added sense of polish to the set, which is swiftly undone by co-vocalist/keyboardist Kellie Sutherland's slightly-too-cute halting – and consequent re-starting – of W.O.W, a few bars in, to ask a tech to readjust her mic stand. It's a strange, jarring (and admittedly minor) moment in an otherwise exemplary showing, but nonetheless raises the point that 'the show must go on' is still pretty solid advice, and, hey, so is, 'Fix your own goddamn microphone stand without holding up the rest of the band.' It's a microphone stand, not rocket science.

For a group nearing the midpoint of its second decade together, that kind of misstep isn't as endearing as Sutherland might think – and it shows on her bandmates' faces during the delay. It's only a small hiccup, and really the only example of proceedings even getting close to being derailed. That said, Architecture are beginning to ever-so-slightly display the cracked hallmarks of a band that have been at it for nearly 15 years. It's going to take more than thirtysomething twee sensibilities, nostalgic romanticism and three-song encores (ugh) to keep us interested from here.