Live Review: Even - Annandale Hotel

18 June 2012 | 5:23 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

Seconds was introduced as the song that appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and according to Naylor, “it funded our next album.”

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Locals Dune Buggy Attack Squadron had that fuzzy, scuzzy indie sound down pat. With bass the dominant feature, the rhythm section locked in on each other to give the sound a lot of muscle, while up front the regular use of harmonies shimmered. Whether keeping things short and sharp or drifting off into an extended jam, Dune Buggy Attack Squadron opened the night with a solid reminder of what the mid-'90s had to offer.

The Fauves may have been at their most prominent in the mid-'90s, but their bright, simple melodies sounded crystal clear and timeless. Whether they were taking a laidback, swing approach, mixing it up with a heavier, classic rock sound or drifting into Gram Parsons-esque country rock, the Melbourne veterans had the crowd dancing. The biggest cheer was reserved for when the rumbling bass intro of Dogs Are The Best People started up.

Melbourne three-piece Even didn't have the right sound mix for their set, as their normally sharp harmonies and jangly power pop was muddy. Nevertheless, their sparkling melodies and cheery tunes were enough to overcome the flaws in the mix. Lead singer Ash Naylor introduced keyboard player Cameron Bruce, his bandmate when they play with Paul Kelly, to guest on several songs. Bruce's keys really beefed up the band's sound, especially towards the end when things got a bit more raucous and loud.

Early on there were several nods to the old-time Even fans with Little Red Taxi and Stop And Go Man, from the band's 1996 debut album, Less Is More, opening the set. Racy rocker, Seconds, was introduced as the song that appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and according to Naylor, “it funded our next album.” However, the majority of songs were from the band's latest album, In Another Time.

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Though the band are happy to admit they're not the most diligent at rehearsing, after spending 18 years playing together, all Even really had to do was show up and plug in. Their sparkling melodies did the rest.