Live Review: In Hearts Wake, Alpha Wolf, Drown This City, Isotopes

23 January 2019 | 10:57 am | Anna Rose

"A ceaseless cycle of post-hardcore nourishment."

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It was a hot day. Too hot for some. But the 40+ degree temperatures in Penrith did nothing to deter hundreds from flocking to the sold-out western Sydney instalment of In Hearts Wake's Summer Setlist tour on Friday night. 

The very membrane of the Tattersalls Hotel wall was sweating of its own volition, but the night’s attendees weren’t deterred. If anything, the dank atmosphere provided a platform for the gnarly grinds of Isotopes and Drown This City, the pounding rhythms of both supports sending pulses through the packed floors.

There was clearly a lot of love in the ‘riff for all the night’s supporters. Even though the crowd were sandwiched against one another, pressed up against railings and bars in the uncomfortable humidity, T-shirts of the support bands were still legible – some were purchased from the merch stand, others were well-worn, well-loved.

Alpha Wolf, the night’s main supports, have a sound for which should be reserved a special name - pig metal. The guitars’ squeal is as shrill as the lead singer - but it’s what this crowd enjoy, and judging by the quick estimation of self-induced cases of whiplash, Alpha Wolf pulled off a great show.

In Hearts Wake took to the stage amid a complete uproar of excited energy. Wasting no time, they crashed into the carefully fan-curated setlist. Ravenously attacking songs like Passage, Cottonmouth, The Night Is For Hunting and Divine in quick succession, one thing was made immediately obvious and was a constant the whole evening - In Hearts Wake's appetite for what they do is satiated by the energy of their audience. Whatever the audience give, In Hearts Wake regurgitate in a ceaseless cycle of post-hardcore nourishment.

The fact there's such a huge following of post-hardcore and alt-music at the base of the Blue Mountains was surprising but what marks an In Hearts Wake gig as particularly epic is that regardless of festival show or local bar, these boys give everything they’ve got without question.

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