Live Review: Beaches, The UV Race, Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes, Whipper, ORB, Swim Team

29 February 2016 | 11:26 am | Bradley Armstrong

"It's loose, it's rock, it's fun and it's totally worth getting squished up to the tall, sweaty guy next to you's armpit."

A mysteriously absent Grotto were due to kick off the night but instead Bad Vision offshoot Swim Team takes the honours. The results are a little mixed, with the set feeling a tad bloated and at times the sound not doing them any favours. ORB follow and things improve vastly with a brutal onslaught of dark, invasive noise that definitely sees the decibel meter peaking. The band do run a bit thin on fresh ideas at the close of their set, however.

Outside the main bandroom, the pool tables become turntables for DJ sets, from Joe Kokomo & Psychedelic Coven, throughout the night. While upstairs is a no-go secret wristband society (word is there are free drinks and hats up there), Whipper are the only band to play in the front bar and the room is half bar line, half punters enjoying the fast-paced powerhouse. It's tight and in your face from start to finish although the sound quality is not as good in here.

The Living Eyes draw a sizeable crowd and the band seem to love the attention, playing off the audience's enthusiasm while delivering their brand of grimey rock'n'roll. Then something feels a little off during Ausmuteants set. While the band are engaging and tight as usual, the scattered punk sound feels like it lacks the depth and substance of past performances.

The bandroom is packed with bodies and the stench of sweat come The UV Race time and, from the get-go, they're on fire. Everything about this set is memorable, from the singalong pop of Inner North to the brash, head-banging punk of closer Raw Balls. This is definitely The UV Race at their finest; it's loose, it's rock, it's fun and it's totally worth getting squished up to the tall, sweaty guy next to you's armpit. With a hard act to follow, Beaches close the night and give it their all. It's a more aggressive affair with the dreamier, psych elements of the group abandoned for a more fuzzed-out Bardo-Pond-at-their-loudest sound and, although the crowd thins out, those present do not leave disappointed.

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