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Live Review: Earthless, Elder, Hobo Magic

28 October 2015 | 4:00 pm | Jake Sun

"It feels as though their heavy rollin', psyched out jams could joyfully roll on ad infinitum."

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A good part of tonight's solid turnout has already packed into Crowbar by the time Queensland's own Hobo Magic get their rock on. Their addition to the bill completes the trinity of triplets and their sound is a great fit too. Not only do they act as a very fitting intro to the onslaught of the double-header to come, but they also prove they can hold a stage in their own right. It's a comfort to see that yet another quality rock outfit is beginning to burgeon in our own backyard!

Boston's Elder have been stirring up quite a fuss and getting some solid praise on the international circuit over the past bunch of years. They're that close to clocking in their first decade as a band that the party poppers are probably already packed and ready to go, so it's not a moment too soon that they've finally arrived on our shores. The opener and title track of 2011's Dead Roots Stirring serves as the perfect way to commence things for them tonight. The mighty groove packs even more weight in the live setting and grabs a firm hold of the bodies on the floor. Although it can often be quite hard to properly see a band in full action at Crowbar, Elder make the shift to a good vantage point worth the while. The overt enthusiasm of bassist Jack Donovan's performance is really inspiring to watch and all in all the trio command a strong stage presence. Legend, Release, and Compendium deliver an array of monstrous riffs, which are all propelled by a sense of momentum that keeps the hooks held firmly into the skin. They've done little wrong by the time the final moments of closer Gemini chime out.

The second of tonight's double-headliner bill, San Diego's Earthless, are no strangers to our shores. The fact they've named a song Uluru Rock speaks volumes about the level of connection they've made with this land on their previous two visits and the crowd's response to their return only heightens that volume. Their favoured format of expansive, instrumental songwriting works a real treat in the live setting and once they get going it feels as though their heavy rollin', psyched out jams could joyfully roll on ad infinitum. The ecstatic expression that is seen on guitarist Isaiah Mitchell's face frequently throughout the set suggests that he'd be more than happy if that was a real possibility. It's easy to reduce this variety of rock music to some kind of nostalgic throwback — the past can be found within it, but it seems to be more about a musical way of life that allows the influences of the past to flow into, and become reincarnated within, the present and future. The seemingly endless drive and momentum of their performance barely ever lets up for long enough to even think too much about backward glances. When their long, climatic gallop appears to be actually coming to some kind of a halt, it simply turns another corner and canters on into the distance.