Live Review: Foam, Hideous Sun Demon, Super Best Friends, Shit Narnia, Skullcave

1 April 2015 | 11:38 am | Richard Moore

"Foam’s mumbled, off-key grunge ground out over mulching bass lines, a wall of noise and organic pulse framed by a vicious mosh."

“Good riff party!” Pressing the mic close to his face, Shit Narnia frontman Hugh Manning pulled in the night: “Mad riffs, good party!” The grungey line-up of Foam’s kin picked for their EP launch and filtered through the brain-numbing bass of The Bakery fell together like riff to riff as the night grew into Foam’s set.

The first element, doom gazers Skullcave, set the bar for dome-crushing bass pumped through industrial amplifiers. Liam Young’s ambidexterity between kit and vocal duties was shadowed only by Jay Marriott on guitar, a thrashing arc at the other side of the empty stage. Skullcave jumped from performing their standard tracks and premiering the new, never breaking the fantasy of their heavy, grinding sound; even dreamy songs like Flesh with their tendrillar guitar carried that weight, never a nightmare but still enough to make you feel like waking to a cold sweat.

Taking the stage with their frontman peeling off his shirt, Shit Narnia launched directly into the nasal riff Castration Fantasy 23; with their chatty stage presence, lurching poetics and total lack of self-consciousness, Shit Narnia are a jab to the face but hard to resist. Manning holds his mic close and his hand across his heart to a pink flare of scar as he gulps back dialogues of small town adolescence, with Sam Atkin’s fragile guitar underscoring a nervous, sleep-deprived restlessness that swallows the band.

They flowed easily into Super Best Friends, pop-punks from Canberra welcomed warmly by each act. High energy and pop colourful, their blarey, catchy riffs on social media, Gina Rinehart and masculinity pulled the ‘00s nostalgia fans to the front, with only a snide comment to The Bakery uttered – “Sad to hear it’s closing soon… we’re sick of having that effect on places.” 

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Joined by Freo punks Hideous Sun Demon with a lethargic, sweat-drenched set under the blazing orange lights of The Bakery, Foam’s final set had the crowd lunging forward. With lead Joel Martin posing fey-like in stripes and tight jeans by his mic, Foam’s mumbled, off-key grunge ground out over mulching bass lines, a wall of noise and organic pulse framed by a vicious mosh. Bassist Harley Barnaby stepped up to drawl, “Quit it with the hell macho shit and don’t hurt people – unless they really deserve it…” The pit quelled, Foam poured on with spat numbers before another guest went awry, the band lurching forward, jeering: “He’s ruined everything! Fuck-boy! Fuck-boy! Fuck-boy!” Their confidence was well-earned. Sick night.