"These guys don’t just pull it off live, they annihilate it."
As the punters slowly tumbled in Hip Priest took the stage to kick things off. It didn’t matter that it was early, the boys cranked up their amps and slaughtered everyone’s ears with deafening guitar solos and driving bass lines.
The small gathering of fans closest to the stage danced and jumped along with the music, enthralled by the catchy melodies that are at the heart of the songs – each of which would end in a bombardment of feedback and noise.
The room was starting to look a lot smaller by the time Verge Collection to the stage, as they leapt into their first song fans flooded the area, cheering and raising their glasses to a band they were all excited to see. Fronted by the unassuming Ben Arnold, this is another band that has been getting some rave reviews over recent months, including winning a spot at Southbound courtesy of triple j Unearthed. Verge Collection are an oddly familiar, but somehow fairly original band – they sound like something you'd expect to hear wandering into a country pub, yet modern and enchanting.
If you check out any top 10 of Australian bands you should be listening to chances are that you’ve seen FOAM somewhere in that list. The guys have a solid reputation around the country and with a polished live sound you can expect to see a lot more of them. They took to the stage and it was instantly as if everyone forgot grunge had died 20 years ago, but it didn’t matter – the crowd was loving it.
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As Pat Chow walked on stage the crowd filled Amplifier wall to wall. Amidst a wall of fuzzed out bass and guitar feedback the chaos began. As fans jumped and shouted, frontman Ben Protasiewicz launched into song, screaming his lungs out and attacking his guitar like it owed him money. Despite the absolute intensity of the performance there was a clarity to their music, the melody always cutting through the madness. The pure catchiness of songs like Don’t Talk and Outta Words prove the immense talent at the centre of this band, both in Protasiewicz’s writing, and the band's rhythm section. Each song is well manicured, and stands up to a drunken and erratic performance – these guys don’t just pull it off live, they annihilate it.
Originally published in X-Press Magazine