Live Review: Jonathan Boulet - Metro Theatre

2 July 2012 | 6:41 pm | Jessie Hunt

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Saturday night at the Metro seemed devoted to music that was “real”, which cut through what Wolf & Cub's frontman dubbed “waves of mediocrity” in order to present music full of honesty.

Joseph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse filled the venue with their intense, staccato rhythms and loud, screaming vocals. Several of the band members appeared a little disinterested in the whole performance, with their bass player spending most of the set with her back to the audience. However, the band's incredibly impressive cover of the Bob Dylan track The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll made up for everything – the winsome electric guitar melody, met by the band's explosive rhythms section on the chorus, was simply magnificent – especially when combined with Liddy's gravelly, Dylan-esque vocals.

With all their boisterousness, hair and cuss words, Wolf & Cub seem to be the bad boys of the indie rock scene. Under a bright spotlight, the band's long haired, bearded frontman delivered an impassioned sermon about music and Jonathan Boulet: “We're a cynical band… we're constantly wading through a sea of mediocrity… and then you see the light.” This pseudo-religious moment, combined with an exasperated “Don't fucken get me started,” in regards to Matt Corby, lends to the feeling that, uncouth as they may be, Wolf & Cub create music which has integrity, honesty and ingenuity.

In concert, it becomes clear that the “Found The Sound” part of Jonathan Boulet's latest album title is incredibly prescient. With his new releases, Boulet has, undeniably, found his sound – strange, repetitive lyrics, heavy percussion and five-part harmonies that border on shouts, all of which add up to something which is down to earth, intense, exciting and, most importantly, virtually unique. When the audience's singing of the particularly anthemic Mangle Trang reached fever pitch, Boulet seemed to peer out of his beard in mild surprise, but the audience seemed to know the lyrics to most of the songs on Boulet's set list. The cynical elements of Boulet's newer tracks are conductive to a kind of intense, incredible honesty. It also goes nicely with his beard.

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Cutting through “waves of mediocrity” and Matt Corby, Joseph Liddy & the Skeleton Horse, Wolf & Cub and Jonathan Boulet are each maestros at making the best music they can – music that makes people dance and sing and feel things – they have discarded popular trends and scenes and, in doing so, have demonstrated what music is all about.