Live Review: Blank Realm, Thigh Master, Exek

24 November 2015 | 3:04 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"An extended, psyched-out outro is the band's parting gift."

It's a bit of an unwelcoming start as Exek kick things off. The dark, no-wave post-punk sound is all-consuming at times, while at others it misses its mark due in part to a poor mix and meandering songs that are too close to their influences. By the conclusion of the set Exek manage to pull it together and the final moments are quite enjoyable in a nihilistic fashion. But this could be heightened on a more stylistically relatable line-up since tonight they stick out like a sore thumb.

Having also ventured down from old Brisbane, garage band Thigh Master take the stage surprisingly quickly following Exek and it's a notable change of pace. The band are getting tighter and tighter with age despite additions and minuses popping up within the line-up. The set does feel a little rushed, though, which is a bit of a disappointment considering the band have quite an established catalogue to draw from at this point. Still, if your eardrums aren't pierced from twangy guitars then you weren't at the show.

Having released three solid and universally loved records in as many years, Brisbane's prodigal sons (and daughter) come good, Blank Realm, take the stage flogging their latest album release Illegals In Heaven. The first portion of the set draws largely from aforementioned record and this is only a disappointment because it's the least known material in their set and some of the songs do feel entirely different, tonally, from the band's earlier work. The mix again feels a little muddy and at times the guitar and keytar are inaudible among the driving drums and thick bass but, it is still hard not to get drawn in and simply have a good time. Go Easy, Cleaning Up My Mess and Reach You On The Phone are all notable highlights but the true highlight comes with the irresistible pop of 'hit' Falling Down The Stairs, which sees the packed room just get taken over with movement. An extended, psyched-out outro is the band's parting gift. Another solid set from a talented bunch of legends.