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Live Review: Red Engine Caves, Foam, Aborted Tortoise, Eerie Serpent

19 December 2013 | 11:15 am | Lukas Murphy

The main act cranked that volume up just another couple of notches to bring their own noise down on their head-banging, boot stomping audience.

With a front room hot with body heat from the patrons, the smell of local beers in the air and a courtyard full of smoke and conversation, Mojo's was absolutely pulsating for the release of Red Engine Caves' new vinyl album Black Mary.

Eerie Serpent started the night with easy-paced progressive rock, somewhat akin to Pink Floyd or the Electric Prunes. With sonic exploration being initiated by everyone of the six-piece at some point, it would be easy to get discombobulated if it were not for a solid bass and drum relationship that kept that groove firmly rooted in the ground.

Following on from the gentle introspections of Eerie Serpent, Aborted Tortoise uprooted everything with high-octane Ramones-style punk. Opening with a classic OneTwoThreeFour!, the Tortoise's set was wave after wave of short and bittersweet abrasions that amped the crowd up nicely; just in time for FOAM.

FOAM delivered their set, as expected by those who are familiar with their semblance, in world-class style; attacking their instruments with fury and energy that matched the lungs of singer Joel Martin. The songs were rock'n'roll at its finest, the energy was ready to peak and the audience was awaiting the main act.

Red Engine Caves hung back for a while, letting the anticipation build along with the artificial smoke filling the rooms. Extra lighting brought in by the band lit up the perimeters of the stage, and you couldn't see a damn thing that was going on; all to be heard was the sound of people snatching up free giveaways of the vinyl LP off the front of stage, and the hype man doing his thing with the help of a megaphone (to be used brilliantly later as well).

The trio opened with their newly-cut title track, naturally, and where punters figured FOAM were loud, the main act cranked that volume up just another couple of notches to bring their own noise down on their head-banging, boot stomping audience. Playing on well into the morning, the trio traded solos, wailed their way through vocal lines and drew out their instrumental breakdowns to a point where the whole room was in a trance. One of the final songs saw that trusty megaphone make a reappearance, aimed directly at the guitar pickups, resulting in a sound that was hellish and demonic in the best possible way.

As a grand finale, the group got their good buddy Edo Ekic (known for is awesome guitar chops in local blues act Old Blood) to play an apocalyptic version of the classic blues number, Baby Please Don't Go. The patrons didn't want to.

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