Live Review: Mammal, Osaka Punch, Fresh Violet

13 August 2018 | 2:37 pm | Rod Whitfield

"Pure, unbridled adrenaline; a funky, high-octane shredfest of pure rock played at extreme volume and with extreme energy."

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Unexpected selections for live bills are great, and tonight's opener is a doozy.

Opening for two loud, in your face rock acts is Fresh Violet rapping over backing tracks. Her unique, exuberant Aussie rhymes are highly entertaining, and although the slowly but surely building crowd may have initially been somewhat taken aback by the left of centre choice of opener, she wins them over with her enthusiasm, her engaging personality and almost constant ear to ear smile. Her raps show some real imagination, and her delivery is brave (especially before this crowd), bold and bewitching. Fantastic to see her return to the stage during Mammal's set for some scintillating free-form trade-offs with Ezekiel Ox too.

Osaka Punch. A Brisbane band who are growing in stature and aura with each new release, each new tour, each new show. They sucker punch you with their funky grooves and vibes and a rib-tickling sense of humour, juxtaposed with typically Aussie progressive and alternative rock, and it all works an absolute treat. Throw in illustrious-level musicianship and you have a 'complete package' type of live band. The vocals, both lead and backing, could possibly have been pushed a little more to the fore this night, but overall Osaka Punch's set tonight simultaneously socks the audience right between the eyes and puts a big goofy smile on their collective faces. They are the ideal warm-up for the tsunami that is to follow. 

Never a band to rest on their laurels and milk past glories for all they're worth, Melbourne's mighty Mammal open with a brand new tune, the angry, pulsating Virtue Signalling. Several years off the scene have not blunted this band's sting one iota, in fact they are just as sharp and just as blisteringly entertaining as they were a decade ago when they were slaying packed-out audiences nationwide. And people have not forgotten those heady days in the late 2000s when this band was on its way to becoming one of Australia's biggest acts before personal differences split them asunder. The Crocko's massive main band room is damn close to chockers by the time Mammal take the stage.

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Their hour and 15-minute set is pure, unbridled adrenaline; a funky, high-octane shredfest of pure rock played at extreme volume and with extreme energy. The classic line-up with Williamson, Adams and Rosanoski is still tighter than a clenched fist. They play with such confident stage-swagger it is a joy to behold, while freight-train frontman Ox is an absolute force of nature out front (and in the crowd, on the tables, and crowdsurfing up a storm). Most Mammal favourites are present and accounted for — The Majority, Clear Enough?, Smash The Pinata and so forth — plus another brand new track, Community. Very exciting is the prospect of a brand new studio album from this band, as is strongly hinted at by the Ox. 

What a fun, funky night of rhymes and rock.