"The band lost themselves amid gain-heavy guitar waves, having now dismissed their catchy surf-rock guitar riffs for outright sonic carnage."
North Wollongong Hotel's sprawling beer garden filled up early for this week's instalment of Yours & Owls Sundays, thanks to some glorious, sunny weather and the afternoon of live tunes it brought along with it.
With just one band member present, but playing with an infinite amount of heart, Nothing Rhymes With David frontman David James Young, armed with his nylon-stringed acoustic guitar and crooning vocals, belted out a string of melancholic tunes that hit hard. Young didn't need much to make some noise - his voice led the way for a completely vulnerable and open performance.
Equally dedicated to her craft was Jess Locke who, along with bassist James Morris and drummer Christopher Rawsthorne, had no issue bringing her introspective and captivating new album Universe to the stage. She opened with Drive To Drink and her witty lyricism was showcased from here on out. Locke's dexterity on the guitar got to shine during Sublime Anxiety, as she transitioned between intricate riffs and ringing chord strums, all the while keeping the melancholy in her melodic vocals.
Attracting such a sizeable audience so early in the afternoon was indicative of Locke's growing draw. Her band had a tight, professional sound that belied the bedroom-DIY origins of their record. The Melbourne-based artist was slightly bemused by a cat that made its way near the stage before she wrapped up her set. Her first performance in the 'Gong was a welcome inclusion to this pleasurable afternoon.
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Newcastle act Fritz kept these leisurely vibes flowing with her crunchy, lo-fi pop-rock. Real name Tilly Murphy, the young songwriter showed a hell of a lot of promise within her track Pale Yellow T-Shirt - the song itself benefitting greatly from the live band bolstering its catchy melodies but maintaining the air of dreamy escapism.
Closing out the evening with A-plus banter and raucous tunes were Mesa Cosa. Their hyperactive nature was well received by a rowdy audience that were keen on getting loose with them. Their track Say No had gnarly basslines, which thumped along with group vocals that were dense with Aussie slang - as was most of their set. By the end, microphones were falling all over the place and a collective shit was not given as the band lost themselves amid gain-heavy guitar waves, having now dismissed their catchy surf-rock guitar riffs for outright sonic carnage.