Live Review: Kikagaku Moyo, Gamjee

4 December 2017 | 2:07 pm | Renee Wilson

"The visceral emotion that envelops the crowd proves music is universally understood without preface."

Family five-piece Gamjee welcome everyone to The Curtin, launching the night with bravado, enthusiasm and sibling comradery.

Monday In Bed is the first single off their upcoming Crooked EP. It's an angsty, stoner-rock jam with a sprinkle of psychedelia that's apparent during the guitar solo at the song's close. Gamjee maintain a great stage presence by continuously engaging with the crowd and responding leisurely to the "I love you" calls brazenly spouted from the audience. Other tracks follow, which have consistently catchy hooks and satisfying harmonies between siblings, Sam and Lily Harding. More notably we pay attention to a quirky, upbeat track introduced playfully as "Holy Microwave". It's a surf-rock creation that gives off a vibe of eccentricity and exuberance that's akin to The B-52's. It's great to see a band in its infancy procuring such a huge reaction from the crowd as they graciously thank us before exiting.

Shouts of acclamation usher Japanese quintet Kikagaku Moyo to the stage, returning four years after their last performance in Melbourne. The band's name translates to "geometric patterns", which aptly foreshadows the ethereal, psychedelic revival we're about to encounter. Go Kurosawa, Ryu Kurosawa, Tomo Katsurada, Daoud Popal and Kotsu Guy tower up there on stage, bathing in an aura of red light and serenading us without hesitation.

Tracks like Green Sugar take us on a transcendental journey, opening with a build of percussion and rumbling guitar that settles into soft, dreamy vocals from both Go and Katsurada. The visceral emotion that envelops the crowd proves music is universally understood without preface. The sound of Ryu's electrified sitar drapes over Guy's melodic bassline and complements Popal's gentle guitar riff. A slight increase in tempo and short crescendo leads to a heavier guitar solo that cuts through the placidity.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The seemingly tranquil Silver Owl pacifies us fleetingly, as it isn't long before the delicate vocals and relaxed sitar are pushed aside to make way for the electric stoner-doom breakdown. The heavy guitar riff creates an intoxicating ruckus and has us all salivating. The constant ebb and flow is carried throughout the set, creating a nice juxtaposition between the heavier pieces and the mellifluous dreamy folk tracks like Kogarashi and Kodama. There is a slightly noticeable lull, but this can probably be chalked up to the anticipation and adrenaline lingering between each shifted tempo.

It's a joy to see a band so passionately immersed in their music, and patrons are unanimously left in awe of such a unique and cathartic experience.