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Live Review: Brant Bjork, Hazards Of Swimming Naked

29 May 2014 | 10:37 am | Jake Boyle

While at times the set seems to lack a little contrast and diversity, the displayed passion and enduring commitment to the DIY creative politics and aesthetic overshadow such minute shortcomings.

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Brisbane's Hazards of Swimming Naked may not be the most obvious support choice, but they burst onto the stage with a rapturous blast that draws attention. After the storming start they shift down a gear and glide their way through expansive terrains of atmospheric rock. Though the direct influences on their 'post-rock' sound become more explicitly apparent in the live setting, they deliver enough diversity to leave a lasting impression of their own identity. They wrap their set up in grand style with a seemingly light piece that drops a bomb midway and explodes into a fury of doom riffs. Nearly five years on from their debut Our Lines Are Down, it's looking like it can't be much longer a wait for a follow-up, and tonight's set excitingly forecasts a bright future looming on the horizon.

It's only been a few months since Vista Chino, or Kyuss Lives! (lawsuits aside), graced stages across the land, but already Brant Bjork is back in our collective faces and getting busy with what he does best. Although he's not the most prolific touring artist in the world, he's squeezed in a lot of love for his Australian fans over the years. This dedication seems to have helped nurture a solid foundation of support, and in spite of a rather inflated ticket price, a decent little crowd packs in tonight. From the outset Bjork is all guns blazin'. Bright and ready to reward the faithful, he dives deep into his back catalogue, delivering Jalamanta's The Low Desert Punk, Lazy Bones and Automatic Fantastic, and Too Many Chiefs... Not Enough Indians in all their frantic glory. The course deep down the retrospective road is kept throughout, leaving the previous two albums, Punk Rock Guilt (2008) and Gods & Godesses (2010), completely overlooked. Some material – including Let The Truth Be Known, 73 and Freaks Of Nature – from the Brant Bjork & The Bros project gets a look in, but it's Keep Your Cool's I Miss My Chick and new song We Don't Serve Their Kind that really jam hard and flex the musical muscle. He's put together a solid, hard-rocking band this time around, and the latter of the previously mentioned pieces certainly acts as a promising little preview of their ventures together. There's no doubt at any point, however, that it's still through and through the 'Brant Bjork Show'. No matter the artillery behind Bjork, his distinct musical vibe and lively Hendrix-meets-Cheech & Chong stage presence simply steals the focus at every turn. While at times the set seems to lack a little contrast and diversity, the displayed passion and enduring commitment to the DIY creative politics and aesthetic overshadow such minute shortcomings.