Live Review: Muscles - Oh Hello!

26 June 2012 | 2:40 pm | Benny Doyle

It’s just a shame that his music isn’t as entertaining as all these distractions.

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Under a sea of warmly lit Chinese lanterns Pony Club DJs bop to the beat, the female duo running through an at times awkward mix of indie-dance, hip hop and ironic pop-punk. Although their skills are based exclusively around the play button and cross fader, when you're attending to a room made up of sloppy drunks it's all you really need to bring to the table.

A heavy push towards the low level stage sees a tangle of punters up front, the sound of cheap bourbon splashing on the ground signalling that Muscles is finally gracing us with his presence. As a group of protein-enhanced drunks get in a barney in the middle of the floor, the young Melbournian enters his pod of destiny. What this equates to is a multi-angled sphere made out of PVC piping or something of the ilk, however, this wouldn't be the end of curious props used to give the show a bit of colour. Throughout the set we also see the one-man party band donning an Aztec-style mask made up of LED lights and a fishbowl-type creation that makes him look like some sort of scuba diving raver. It's just a shame that his music isn't as entertaining as all these distractions. From Koala to Ice Cream and even new single Ready For A Fight, the level of monotony throughout the set is staggering, but more incredible is that no-one seems to give a shit. In fact, it looks like a good portion of the crowd are eating this crap up. The guy can more than handle himself on the keys and is an able producer, but with five years having passed since his debut album Guns Babes Lemonade you get the feeling that the ship has sailed on Muscles' sound. Girl Crazy Go proves to be the storming banger of the night and Hey Muscles, I Love You is a bit of a laugh that shows the young man has a self-deprecating streak, but his voice rarely breaks away from a dull shout, and the electro sounds that are pumping from the speakers sound dated.

Midnight Tango then step up and put the Delorean into overdrive, the time machine taking us into the beating heart of the '90s. There's the good (Beastie Boys' Intergalactic), the bad (TLC's No Scrubs) and the cringeworthy (Len's Steal My Sunshine) – there's nostalgia and then there is crap. Apart from the back end being removed from a few songs, there is again nothing to separate this from an iPod playlist, the night continuing to play out like a glorified and expensive house party.