"Cleverest have an aptitude for producing well-structured songs anchored by climactic breakdowns that compel listeners to take notice."
It's safe to say that checking out some great local talent at a kicking venue usually makes for a good night. Knowing this, the genre-blending boys from Mt Cleverest came through the all too familiar Jack Rabbit Slim's last Friday night for the launch of their new single.
After a bubbling 2017 that featured the release of their hauntingly catchy debut single That Girl, the alt-rock indie-rap outfit have played a string of shows in the past months in the lead up to the launch of their newest offering, Take It Back. Released to streaming platforms earlier in the week, fans were all but ready to experience the hard-hitting track in the flesh.
Providing support on the night were funk-fuelled rhymers Otiuh, vivacious rockers Death By Denim, and the wildly talented Grace Sanders - a mixed bag of sonic flavours reflective of the musical diversity the headline act. Sanders proved a particular highlight with a set involving powerful yet controlled vocals, a flurry of stage-melting guitar solos and a loveable, bubbly stage presence to go along. Her set saw her strong vocal abilities and emotive songwriting on full display.
Finally, the time of the night had arrived for Mt Cleverest to grace the stage and with the utterance of a solitary, "Let's rock and roll," things were underway. Immediately the energy in the room lifted with a quick glance around the dancefloor showing guys headbanging, girls on shoulders, and the majority losing themselves in the music. This crowd showed all the signs of the sizable underground following the group have amassed, impressive given the relatively small amount of released content.
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Alternating between Red Bull vodkas and a bottle of coconut water between songs, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Christian Mechler exerted a passionate control over the room, not letting a broken string overshadow or even impact the performance. While tracks like These Nights were mellow enough to prompt a wall of lighters to emerge from the crowd - a Jack Rabbits Slim's first? - Mt Cleverest have an aptitude for producing well-structured songs anchored by climactic breakdowns that compel listeners to take notice.
With the set approaching the tail-end, Mechler briefly introduced the new single Take It Back before diving into an inspired vocal performance switching between the rock-heavy chorus and silver-tongued rap verses with ease. Slated to be the opening track from their forthcoming debut EP, the band's self-described "statement of intent" had the crowd shouting along to the abrupt, stop-start chorus and soaking in the sharp, aggressive natured rap verses. Disappointingly, calls for an encore were left unanswered at the closing of their set as the in-house music was played through the speakers to the dismay of the crowd.
With a barrage of unheard and unreleased songs performed on the night, Mt Cleverest appear to have spent the time away from the spotlight last year hard at work sharpening their tools. Now with a heartening single launch under their belt, 2018 looks to be the year the group put their money where their mouth is and solidify their mark on the scene.