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Live Review: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Loose Tooth, Cable Ties, Indented Head

18 June 2016 | 10:58 am | Dearna Mulvaney

"They confess that they only play Blue Boy because they love it and wished they’d written it."

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Four-piece garage pop outfit Indented Head kick off the night with their bite-sized songs. There is a quite literal music chairs played on stage as members swap instruments for the last few songs. Skye is their final track for the night. It is a classic mix of dreamy Britpop instrumentation with a spoken, almost shouted, punk vocal.

Cable Ties are the punk offering for the night. This trio delivers a relentlessly driving rhythm section, loud screeching guitars, shouted Riot Grrrl vocals and all with a Johnny Rotten style attitude. There is a strange contrast as frontwoman Jenny McKechnie addresses the crowd, “Cool beans, isn’t this lovely,” she pauses to take a spit of her red wine, “Next up I’m going to keep yelling at you which is my favourite thing to do.” She doesn’t disappoint as the set wraps up in a whirlwind of loud, fast, shouted and fierce rock’n’roll.  

Keeping up with the trend of female-fronted trios is Loose Tooth. This trio keeps the packed crowd totally engrossed with their haunting garage pop and amusing banter between vocalist and drummer Etta Curry and guitarist Nellie Jackson. The pair discusses everything from fears of falling on stage, Chinese medicine and unwise wardrobe choices that keep the audience laughing between songs. The trio play through their rhythm driven shoegaze, garage offering with Sherry sung by bassist Luc Dawson, In The Morning and Will You.  

The Tote’s cosy band room is packed — people are squashed together and standing on whatever surface they can when Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever take their turn on stage. Tonight is the launch of their new 7” Write Back/Career

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The band’s revolving team of singers — all but the drummer takes to the mic — explore tricky relationships, societal pressures and winding road trips. Each singer has a similar spoken vocal style which fits their sound but is still distinct enough to tell apart. The spoken vocal allows their accent to poke through. This fits their summer vibe and Australiana lyrics.   

There’s no mention of their new 7” as the five-piece launch into three songs off the EP they are currently recording. There’s a sense of development as they explore more complex harmonies and rhythm lines but ultimately is the same tough pop sound we all know and love.

The quintet wraps the night up with high energy as they smash through old favourite Wide Eyed and Orange Juice cover of Blue Boy. They confess that they only play Blue Boy because they love it and wished they’d written it.

Tonight The Tote hosts a CBGB style offering of everything Melbourne’s underground punk, garage scene has to offer.