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Live Review: Columbus, Lowlight, Dan Cribb & The Isolated

14 September 2015 | 3:41 pm | Craig English

[Columbus] churned out hearty, bass-laden rock, strangely complimenting Alex Moses' hoarse and often indecipherable singing.

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When punk emerged in the UK's chaotic '70s, it was born out of feelings of hopeless political disillusionment, and the anarchic revolt that fuelled that virulent punk sound all those years ago was unlike anything anyone had heard. Perhaps unsurprisingly, North America totally missed the point. Given that, it's really hard to talk about anything punk-related without bearing in mind how warped and unrecognisable its sound became in the early '90s, as bands like Lagwagon and Rancid, who weren't talented enough to run with the heavyweights of grunge, struggled to find relevance. Fortunately, however, you'll come across bands every now and then that manage to extract what made punk a sound worth banging on about, even now. 

Dan Cribb & The Isolated, backed by a photo of Nicolas Cage's omnipotent grin beaming on the giant screen behind them, tore up the stage with neatly packed punk riffs — Cribb singing with the same kind of urgency as Win Butler, without being painfully emo about it. If ever the idea of punk was to not give a shit, these guys unfortunately failed; they maintained consistent levels of energy throughout, no doubt because of Cage's watchful gaze. 

Although it took a few songs for them to properly kick into gear, Lowlight drew out hints of what made At The Drive-In's Relationship Of Command so raw and aggressive, giving some breathing room to a few rough cuts of jagged guitar and messy drumming. There weren't enough of these moments, however, to distract from the singer's onstage quest to supply wailing vocals while preventing a hernia. 

By the time headline act Columbus made their way to the stage, the venue had filled with the regular Saturday night crowd of sleazy young boys with bad posture wearing lascivious grins, which sadly sapped a lot of the punk fervour. Thankfully oblivious to this, the Brisbane three-piece churned out hearty, bass-laden rock, strangely complimenting Alex Moses' hoarse and often indecipherable singing. It took a catchy song called Hospital to get the kids thrashing about, and the band kept the momentum going with an angry cover of The Offspring's Head Around You and rounded things out with the rest of their January EP, Home Remedy included, while managing to keep the better parts of punk alive.      

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