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Live Review: Obits, Kim Salmon, Bad Vision

28 August 2012 | 10:22 am | Samson McDougall

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There's a disappointing turn out for Bad Vision but they cut loose regardless. They are bass-less and at a Yah Yah's show a few weeks back they sounded a bit tinny – all bouncing treble off of hard surfaces and glass. Tonight is much better; they look fantastic and have a decent range of songs. Outside of singer Jerome Rush's electric jellyfish dancing becoming irksome, they have all the necessary ingredients to make a dent in the garage scene here. In a lesser music town, they'd be the hottest ticket going.

To critique Kim Salmon is a truly frightening concept. He is a stalwart of Melbourne punk in every capacity. His bands – The Scientists, The Surrealists, Beasts Of Bourbon, Darling Downs etc – have left an unquantifiable (but certainly very large) mark on punk rock here and around the world, he has stood the test of time and any chance to see the dude play is still an exciting prospect. He's enlisted a drummer for tonight's performance (sorry, missed his name) and in a strange way it pulls the focus away from Salmon and his guitar-god-ism, which detracts from the visual impact of the thing. That said, the set is still a fuckin' killer with versions of Rose Coloured Windscreen and Drop Out knocking out the growing audience.

The timing of the Obits' tour is unfortunate. Only a week-or-so back we were told that the wonderful people at Meredith Music Festival have wrangled the legendary Hot Snakes onto the bill and all of a sudden Rick Froberg's other band, Obits, are and entirely less tantalising concept. That's not to say it's not super duper to witness Froberg playing guitar in the flesh, but let's be honest about this: there are many of us in the room, myself included, who are here for Froberg and Froberg alone (is that enough Frobergs for ya?). Obits just don't have the songs of Hot Snakes or Drive Like Jehu. What they do have is great energy and phenomenal playing (as if Froberg would surround himself with mugs) but they don't have John Reis and the whole time you're standing there goin' 'This is pretty good, but I wish they'd just play fuckin' I Hate The Kids and be done with it'. It's a shame because they are really good, but they just ain't great.