Live Review: Home Blitz, Kitchen's Floor, Martyr Privates

9 October 2012 | 10:14 am | Bradley Armstrong

A decent number of people have popped out for this Wednesday at Black Bear, and a rather promising soundcheck of guitars blazing with reverb signifies that it's definitely Martyr Privates on stage. It is loud and immersive as the band progress through the set, the stop-start rhythm of Bless with vocalist Cameron Hawes' towering delayed vocals being a prime example. A few timing issues aside, it's a great start to the evening (and could even have closed it on a high).

In four-piece mode tonight, Kitchen's Floor continue the charge with the volume seemingly turned up a notch. Everything about their set is glued together, all sounding tight and in sync as the group appear to be enjoying themselves on stage with a wall of sound behind them. Andrew McLellan's organ seems to have an ability to transform the set, providing rhythm and coherence on tracks like Graves whilst the riff-based 116 descends into delightful noise with a few pop melodies underneath. Recent release Bitter Defeat has already undergone a heavy transformation in the live realm, losing its tub-thumping reverb charm in favour of a more aggressive approach led mainly by Matt Kennedy's vocals and brash electric guitar, also on display when they kick out Regrets. A highlight set for the group and the crowd.

The audience have slightly depreciated by the time our US headliners Home Blitz take the stage and something appears to be off from the get-go, as the group fail to achieve the level of performance already on show by the locals. For the most part there seems to be no edge and little interest from the band in the delivery of the songs, led largely by the expressionless face of vocalist Daniel DiMaggio. While the band are technically proficient in decanting their indie-pop punk-rock in suitable fashion some people seem to enjoy the experience while others don't, and there's also a rather large inconsistency between the live takes of numbers such as Secret Wave and their original, rawer recorded versions, with the far more polished live renditions losing some of the original charm that made the band so popular.

While in some ways it's a bit of a letdown of a set (which also ends rather abruptly) it's always good to see a band that's been responsible for a number of great tunes make their way over to our soil. But tonight is definitely won by the locals who all delivered sets worth far above and beyond the price of admission.

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