Live Review: Hair Of The Dog Festival

17 December 2015 | 4:53 pm | Blake Byrne

"A steam train of a vocalist, Sean Gorman has one of the most iconic voices in the local scene."

Wielding one of the weirdest band names in Perth, Magic Chicken Fudgetoe started the Hair Of The Dog Festival with their Metallica-influenced vocal snarls and heavy, synchronised guitar and bass lines. With heavy fuzz guitar and smooth finger-picked bass lines in a '90s grunge-influenced sound, Slick Monks showcased the youthful passion that drives their ability to write and perform catchy songs while retaining that true heartwarming, alternative vibe. 

Causing a racket in the basement, Enemy Minds drag the crowd downstairs to listen to their Rise Against-style vocal yarls, snare driven kit and intensely speedy bass lines. The boys' onstage banter about the story of guitarist Griz Lothian's mysterious milk crate and their cover of Folsom Prison Blues  — not sounding anything like Johnny Cash — added to their sensational, energetic set. Sporting a Smith Street Band T-shirt, guitarist and singer of Furniture, Aaran Gicquel, supports listening to and also producing Australian indie music. Their huge shoegazing, garage sound is diversified by drummer, Damien Grove, a treasure to have in Perth.

Up next, the love child of The Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop, The Devil In Miss Jones produce a late '60s, early '70s rock tone in a modern world. These gents are true class. Lead guitarist, Daniel Vermille, presents an array of clever hooky riffs, while bassist Calvin Williams follows suit closely. Their songs leave you with an insatiable appetite for more.

A true artist, Agamous Betty & The Gothic Circus communicated candid messages about current world issues over indulgent, dark synth samples manipulated on a mixer by his companion. Betty sees human society in all its glory and isn't scared to speak out against it. True blue Odlaw could not have captured the '90s Australian alt-rock sound more clearly. Fronted by Mark Neal who hosted this festivity, the five-piece put on a good show. Their soft-spoken lyrics and estranged time signatures ranked them one of our personal favourites this year.

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Troopers of progressive songwriting and improv, Zyklus write compositions that resemble artwork as opposed to songs with a concrete structure. Their avant garde and beautifully dissonant pieces unfortunately leave a lot of people scratching their heads.These four lads were absolute onstage ambassadors for two things: dancing like manic children in a world class ball pit, and being elite artcore musicians with the linguistic capacity of Great Britain's finest.

Talented minstrels Sail On! Sail On! conveyed their screamo-driven songs in scientific time signatures to their loyal peons, who somehow manage to dance in time to them. Treehouses, who recently released new single 3am, have their special place in the Perth scene as a unique folk/spoken word-style duo. Their new direction has gotten some exposure and hopefully there's a great future for the two lads, who set a heavy, peaceful atmosphere on stage at the fest. Three-piece Lina Sleeps show off their chops playing fast Brit-punk, supplying the listeners with a hint of The Clash and some Sex Pistols angst. Their straight-up, frank lyrics and good pace direct the audience to gravitate toward their hooky sound. Four-piece young'uns The Keeblers come armed with their effect pedals and persistence. The sound of subtly overdriven guitars contrasted well with upbeat drums and their riffs range from droning, Nick Cave-esque aggression to ambient, low slung grunge.

Post-hardcore five-piece Kastiell have been striving hard to pave a career with their abruptly transitioning, clear sung, epic guitar solo-based metal. The dynamic inconsistencies made for an increasingly interesting set and the five members collaborate and work well on stage together.

Playing static guitar solos and jammy bass lines that complemented the treble end, Mung Dahl fit right into the uncanny world of alternative-rock. Their sound appeared to be influenced by smooth jazz and blues in the extended instrumental sections of their tunes.

A steam train of a vocalist, Sean Gorman has one of the most iconic voices in the local scene, fronting the band The Shops. Their mix and match of slow blues-rock-inspired ballads and fast garage elements generate a unique collection of inspiring and interesting work.