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Live Review: God Bows To Math, Tiny Spiders, Quiet Steps at The Waiting Room

25 April 2012 | 1:08 pm | Howie Tanks

A busy weekend means that it's an even smaller and wearier audience that filters into the ever-excellent Waiting Room for an intimate night of alcohol and noise. A bus-related failure has G Charles stranded in Toowoomba, so it's up to Quiet Steps to kick off proceedings. In what is likely to be one of the last shows the trio do for some time (bassist Robb Perkin leaves for Melbourne in a week), they leave no stone unturned in harnessing their newly-melodic sounds for the small but very appreciative crowd. Singer/guitarist Leon Perkin has embraced singing over yelling in what is one of many marked changes in the band's aesthetic over the past 12 months, and it really suits their new material, which is predominantly on display here. Echoes of …Trail Of Dead permeate the set, and they leave the venue humming in appreciation.

Another band making their last appearance for a little while as they recede into reclusion to finish recording their debut LP, Tiny Spiders hand in a predictably rambunctious and fun set. Cam Smith and Innez Tulloch are the perfect juxtaposition, with the drummer a flailing sweatball pummelling the skins while the guitarist stands tall, both vying for the punters' attention. They rip through their set with tracks such as Cajun Style and Midnight Movie growing in stature with every listen. They are a tight unit, so much fun, and nice and loud. Perfecto.

Auckland noise trio God Bows To Math sign off their maiden East Coast tour with this electric set. The space in the audience doesn't deter as Martin Phillips shreds, Sam Cussen ducks and weaves and Tom Morrison destroys at the back. Sticking predominantly to their self-titled album, the guys are a veritable tour de force, alternating between tension, friction and full blown meltdown aggression. Phillips is a prolific string-snapper, and he doesn't disappoint tonight either, but as is their wont it remains ferocious throughout. Slow Decline is bruising; Yr Kids Aren't Special But I Am is surprisingly melodic, despite its overt angularity; Teenagers Is Lazy Journalism is ecstatically brutal. The hero in this dissonant dish is the guys' propensity to infuse a sense of frivolity amongst the fracas – not an easy virtue to uphold. Yet these amiable heathens hold it all together admirably well, making them a no-wave band that reach the upper echelons of power, rather than wilt in the shade of the giants they emulate.

It's a shame so few people have come out to support three of the strongest DIY acts floating in our Trans-Tasman corner. For those who made it, though, the throbbing ears and bleary eyes are well worth it.