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Live Review: Mother's Cake, AlithiA, Qlaye Face, Greenthief

20 February 2017 | 1:31 pm | Rod Whitfield

"Mother's Cake are equal parts Led Zeppelin, old school funk and nu-school psychedelia."

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Melbourne band Greenthief are an enjoyably odd beast. For a three-piece they create an unimaginably huge, driving but trippy wall of psychedelic sound, on the back of some atomic-strength grooves and an almost overwhelming, ultra fuzzed-up bass sound that sometimes hurts the ears and gets right inside your head. Visually, they conform strongly to the psychedelic aesthetic as well, with the paisley shirts, skinny jeans and unruly hair all over their faces. They come on stage and grasp the attention of the nicely building crowd with both hands, despite the early hour, and simply don't let go until the final strains of their stomping, thumping, pounding 30-minute set fade away. 

In pretty major contrast, but still sitting quite seamlessly in the scheme of things this night, is Qlaye Face. Their take on the progressive alternative rock sound is dark and melancholy, ambient and ethereal, although they still know how to rock out when the mood takes them. They sit their guitars up nerdishly high, but who cares when you can play this well? And play well they do; their grooves are syncopated and powerful and the vocals are sweet as honey.

AlithiA are an enigma and a phenomenon, and it's easy to see why. Their live show is in constant motion, musically, physically and visually, and tonight the crazy rear-screen projection segments, on top of their regular percussive pounding, only add to the chaos. This band are one of those outfits for whom you can say, they exist in a genre of one. They are indefinable, they play AlithiA music, and their live show is starting to attain legendary status.  

Austria's Mother's Cake are equal parts Led Zeppelin, old school funk and nu-school psychedelia. Throw in just a sprinkling of Jane's Addiction, especially in the vocal department, a live sound and presence honed by hard-yards touring and you have yourself a pretty damn electric live band. Similar to Greenthief, these guys are a three-piece with an impossibly huge, bass-driven sound, and they rocked the shit out of the strong Evelyn crowd for one hour and fifteen minutes, including a brief but impactful appearance from AlithiA percussionist Jeffrey Ortiz Raul Castro — before they left the stage for a few minutes and returned for two slamming encores. This band pulls off something quite rare and difficult; they manage to be absolutely relentless and dynamic at the same time, which is no mean feat. And in the end, they seem truly and sincerely happy and grateful to be here. 

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In summary, this was three superb local acts supporting an electrifying international outfit, and the Evelyn crowd walked away more than satisfied with their evening's kick-arse entertainment.