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Live Review: Miles Away, Blacklisted, Starvation, Reactions, World View

18 May 2015 | 3:53 pm | Will Oakeshott

"'Ghostwriter' sparked an excellent singalong with a stage invasion and microphone adoption from the crowd to the delight of vocalist Nick Horsnell"

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The challenge was undoubtedly set for this overdue event. A pretty miserable, chilling Wednesday night with competition from a high-profile UK indie act playing just minutes away, this was to be testing to say the least. But each to their own and the comforts of a warm Enigma Bar and an intimate hardcore show is for some a victory. These fans certainly did exhibit their truest colours and passion.

Passion is exactly what locals World View needed for their particularly early time slot as the number of people there to witness the quintet could be practically counted on one hand. One had to have empathy for the scenario put before them, but the five-piece powered through. Combining their love for hardcore heroes Bane and the sadly now defunct Melbourne band Hopeless with their sound, it was surely intriguing enough to capture the attention of those in attendance. But, being understandably slightly uninspired by the minimal turnout, the showcase was a bit short, sharp and barely shiny. New track, Dream was a highlight and hopefully this noteworthy song will be performed in front of many more in the not too distant future.

Reactions are no strangers to this writer, or Adelaide for that matter. Spawned in this astonishing city in 2011 as just kids, they’ve now transformed into young men. After a slew of demos, split releases, a well-received 7” EP and now a debut album, it’s logical that Reactions are receiving national recognition. Clearly inspired by California’s legends of the genre Terror, as well as inklings of both earlier and latter Carpathian, this quintet had the ninja moshers provoked to be practically feared (admirably of course). The doom groove beatdown of Death Creep was definitely impressive and the post-punk introduction of Forced To See... easing into Damned To Be was arguably the best musical output emitted by the five-piece. Besides the thrash-driven Bound To Be, of which Metallica would be proud, there really isn’t a lot new to Reactions’ formula. But then Terror have been churning out the same sounding albums for well over a decade and are still globally adored. In conclusion, for a band placed earlier in the evening, they did a flawless job of warming up the audience.

The venomous, vegan, volatile metallic hardcore group known as Starvation followed and quickly left a lasting impression on the unsuspecting. Then, just as fleetingly the chaos came to a halt because of technical difficulties – and I mean a complete standstill. Somehow this was delightfully awkward as singer Marcel “Moose” Cuthbertson had to fill the silent void with between-song banter that could be described as amusingly uncoordinated. As his violent stage presence during performance is borderline maniac and he practically vomits his fanatical lyrics, this was a change of character nearing incredible bipolar ability. It may have divided a few, but sometimes a laugh is the best medicine. Our Glorious Dead was superior and the two new tracks showcased are maintaining the intensity by which Starvation are branded. Here’s for smooth sailing next time around.

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Philadelphia’s experimental hardcore quartet Blacklisted were arguably the night’s prized drawcard at this show, and it became quite obvious why. No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me transported the band into their own universe, playing so narrowly towards each other that their art had literally taken over. Circuit Breaker caused understandable havoc as frontman George Hirsch wears his emotions on his sleeve, lyrically preaching to those who understand.

Closing with two fan favourites, I Am Weighing Me Down and Wish, it did become a bit more apparent that many in this small yet crowded room were here for the Pennsylvanians, it was a far from perfect execution, though it was captivating. The surprise is the following the Blacklisted have actually acquired. Their music is far from conventional, in a genius sense though. With some jazzy interludes and even ‘90s grunge influence included in their recipe, as well as Hirsch’s odd confronting and confident yet polite fronting manner; it’s peculiar for some, and brilliant for others. Clearly the latter were observing this time.

It had been a long time coming in a few ways of speaking, four supporting bands and five years between albums, but Perth’s favourite hardcore punks Miles Away finally hit the stage. With a more celebratory vibe than the prior act, it was rather simple to become joyous and buoyant in the company of the five gentlemen occupying the stage. Ghostwriter sparked an excellent singalong with a stage invasion and microphone adoption from the crowd to the delight of vocalist Nick Horsnell (and the entire Miles Away outfit). You Lose, Endless Roads, Brainwashed and closer, Turn Your Back, reminded Adelaide how much the quintet has been missed. No, they’re not the kids they used to be, but even at their mature age (as Horsnell pointed out, “I’m 35 years old”), their enthusiasm is well and truly alive. Keep the party going Miles Away, if Keith Morris can keep doing this at 59 years old, surely Miles Away can “Rewind, Repeat” for years to come, especially with the brilliant new album, Tide, please.