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Live Review: Reptiles, Horace Bones

18 August 2014 | 7:25 pm | Eliot Landes

The boys have constructed a set that progresses in theme and genre

Support band Horace Bones don’t employ any flash antics. Their music speaks for itself with vocals reminiscent of Jim Morrison, engaging lyrics and powerful basslines that cut right through the venue. Lead singer Oisin Kelly snaps a guitar string and asks, “The Reptiles boys here?” Reptiles frontman Emilio Scalz responds by lending his guitar and a warm hug.

Scalz retrieves his instrument as Reptiles jump up on stage. They turn the gain up a notch and prepare to test the audience’s ear drums. The band boasts diverse personalities, with Scalz wearing a The Matrix-esque trench coat and guitarist Joel Cornell donning a musty tee, but this complements their musical style as the band are known for exploring a broad range of genres: metal, punk and even country. A man of few words, Scalz opens simply with, “It’s been a while since we played Ding Dong Lounge.” The band begin their set explosively with a couple of up-tempo punk tracks. Although these compositions are high-energy, their stage presence is a little lacklustre. Also problematic is their sound. The distortion is overwhelming and there’s little definition to hold onto.

“This song has been officially approved by the RSPCA"

The boys have constructed a set that progresses in theme and genre. As they shift from punk into metal, they begin to find their feet and Smell My Skin best showcases their talent, the song possessing a groove that is missing from most of their material, and the crowd starts to move. Scalz’s voice demands your attention, drummer Luca Scalz employs dynamic tribal rhythms and Cornell performs in an animated fashion. The frontman jests, “This song has been officially approved by the RSPCA,” and a few vegetarians are left grizzling after the lyrics prove the statement is ironic when Scalz goes on to sing about drinking beer and shooting birds. It’s a bouncy track that seems to take a little from Johnny Cash and a lot from The Sex Pistols, but the guys put in enough of themselves to call it their own. In true rockstar fashion, a round of shots are cordially served to the band. “What is that, urine?” jokes Scalz, cheekily adding, “That’s what I hoped.”

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