Live Review: Bad//Dreems, Green Buzzard

20 October 2015 | 4:13 pm | Matt MacMaster

"There was a palpable energy exchange as the set progressed, the crowd surging and the band responding in kind."

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We're not sure what sets Bad//Dreems apart from other current Aussie acts (Dick Diver/Twerps/Straight Arrows/Barnett et al) that would result in so many sell out shows. The nasal-ly two-stroke whine and unchecked low-key nihilism is pretty uniform across the garage subgenre, and there's so much consistency that to pledge allegiance to one band over another seems like folly. Nevertheless, the boys played to a packed house after some solid buzz around town and on the airwaves.

Freshly minted I OH YOU inductees Green Buzzard warmed up with a fantastic set. Loose Manchester revivalists, they swam through a small batch of songs that felt far more robust than the headliners. Big swirling jams and solid fuzz played out nicely, and there was meat on their songwriting bones. These guys are exciting. Someone get them on a bill with Smaal Cats already.

Bad//Dreems trade heavily on broad Australiana and nostalgia for their hometown of Adelaide, and of concepts they arguably would have been too young to consciously absorb. It loses the effect in a live setting as the VHS-video-tracking-line-scarred imagery is rendered moot. All that was left was a raucous garage band playing some chunky material, sweating out in front of crowd surfers, overeager bouncers (seriously, they were on edge on Friday) and delicious, cheap(ish) swill. Cuffed & Collared, Dumb Ideas and Hiding To Nothing all got a look in and sounded fine, and there was a palpable energy exchange as the set progressed, the crowd surging and the band responding in kind. The OAF can be a hotbox even during quieter gigs, and the show on Friday was not quiet...

Ultimately Bad//Dreems delivered. Not much was asked of them (they play garage after all); they just had to turn up, turn it up to 11 and keep it friendly. All boxes were ticked. They have a charming accessibility and some catchy stuff, and their current successes on tour as exemplified by their OAF show should hopefully encourage them to push themselves more.

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