Live Review: Deafcult, Skullsquadron, Egoism

7 August 2017 | 10:35 am | Matt MacMaster

"Their pillowy mixture of emo, crushing dream pop and '90s-inflected guitar noodling sounded immediate and invigorating."

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As rudimentary as they were, there were great moments that littered the sand-blasted dream pop performance of local group Egoism.

The nuts and bolts are a bit loose, but their impressionistic ideas are rich in pathos and lilting beauty. The arrangements occasionally hinted at a far more sophisticated group, whose understanding of the genre is, at this point, their best asset. They also served up a disarming tribute to the headliner, whom they cited as a major influence. They have nowhere to go but up, and that is not a slight.

Hometown outfit Skullsquadron were more about hands-in-the-earth than head-in-the-sky. They were faster, louder, and more aggressive, but still operated within the dreamscape of shoegaze comfortably. They were good, and played a handsome set, without making a lasting impression.

Brisbane's Deafcult arrived in town with a shiny new album in tow. Auras is a heady ode to nostalgia and celebrates the rich inner lives of the disparate people you see staring out of bus windows. That descriptor may sound a tad cumbersome, but in reality, their arrangements are strident and muscular, reflecting the admiration and sense of solidarity they feel towards their melancholy subjects. Their pillowy mixture of emo, crushing dream pop and '90s-inflected guitar noodling sounded immediate and invigorating. The vocals were smothered by the many guitars that flooded the mix, but that's okay; whatever they were singing about could be neatly swapped out for your own particular brand of angst or desire with little impact. The nearly full room banged their heads slowly, perhaps, somewhere deep inside, raising a lighter in salute.

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