Live Review: Karnivool, Redcoats, Sleepmakeswaves

24 July 2012 | 3:13 pm | Carley Hall

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Tonight's headliners are choosy with their support acts; some of their previous choices are understandable (Dead Letter Circus, Coerce), while some are thrown like a curve ball (That 1 Guy, Shockone), so it's interesting to see what's in store tonight at Gold Coast's Coolangatta Hotel.

Sydney four-piece sleepmakeswaves fall into the latter category with their mesmerising progressive rock. With no vocalist whatsoever, guitarists Jonathan Khor and Otto Wicks-Green, with bassist Alex Wilson, thrash out heavy, melodic soundscapes in We Sing The Body Electric and The Obstacle Is The Path. Drummer Tim Adderly's sweat goes flying, bashing out offbeat rhythms, and although the odd soaring guitar solo gets swallowed up nobody cares; the audience is instantly onboard with their hypnotic and understated performance.

Apparently Redcoats' distorted hard rock hasn't gone down too well with crowds this tour and sadly history repeats itself tonight. There's no denying the passion and energy the Melbourne quartet inject into opener Kaytrucker; singer Emilio Mercuri is an aggressive force onstage and channels his retro wail through his core, pop-locking and body-rolling his mic stand during the more blissed out bluesy tones of Rainbow Lips and Giants. There's just something not connecting with this motley audience and the hunch is it's Mercuri's vocals; they just don't lift over the wall of distorted bass and guitar riffs. The frustration is evident as they finish with breakout hit Dreamshaker.

It's little more than 12 months since Karnivool played to the Cooly crowd but as the five Perth lads take the stage the din is deafening; a year between drinks is far too long apparently. With a third album on the way The Refusal is the first newbie to be unleashed; it's a return to Karnivool's hardcore roots with monstrous riffs from guitarists Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking and a shared punchy delivery from bassist Jon Stockman and leading man Ian Kenny. Goliath, Simple Boy and C.O.T.E get the crowd amped as a mosh erupts the length of the stage. Kenny has a smile from ear to ear and it's clear the boys are enjoying the messy goings-on as much as the crowd before them. Melodic heavy guitars and drummer Steve Judd's complex rhythmic structures run rife in new songs New AM and New R, and the onslaught continues with set closers Set Fire To The Hive, Roquefort, and EP oldie Fade.

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After a quick break, the boys get back down to business with another new tune, Aeons, then stomp to the finish line with juggernaut favourites Themata and New Day. Another tight performance and the boys' sincere appreciation once again cements their status as one of Australia's favourite live acts and for many here tonight it's clearly going to be a long wait for that new album to drop.