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Live Review: Split Seconds, High Horse, Riley Pearce

14 July 2016 | 7:31 pm | Chris Havercroft

"A triumphant homecoming for Split Seconds."

Those who arrived early to get their fill of music were presented with Riley Pearce. The earnest troubadour spent six months in Montana to hone the tunes that would appear on his Outside The Lines. Pearce played tunes from this album as he played a war brand of percussive folk.

High Horse is the straight ahead rocking four piece fronted by the man with the perfectly elevated hair - Tim Nelson. Having its foot more firmly in the nineties than Nelson’s other outfits, there are riffs and hooks aplenty. Mind Of Her Own is an indie rock gem that threatened to lift the roof, whist new song Paper Boy (that was confirmed to be ‘almost finished’), borrowed from the pages of the Fountains Of Wayne and Weezer handbooks. The high energy set concluded with a raucous ode to public transport in the form of DUI. Bravo urban cowboys!

All round top chaps and infectious talents, Split Seconds were all smiles with the return to one of the stages where they has spent their formative years. Kicking off with Top Floor, the tune that saw them build a national profile, it was evident that the trimming of the bands numbers over recent times hasn’t made their sound suffer.

A broken string meant the band were relegated to the bleachers to rectify the issue whilst Sean Pollard utilised his trusty loop pedal for an impromptu Relocation Blues #2 and his solo set staple of Dan Kelly’s Pregnant Conversation. It was an unexpected interlude that highlighted the ever growing voice of Pollard.

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Things were soon returned to scheduled programming with the band rejoining proceedings. Delivery highlights the successful change in roles for Rhys Davies who has taken up bass duties and kept the powder dry on his sing string prowess for the moment. Being adept at the bottom end, it appears the biggest challenge for Davies was coming up with a new set of accompanying stage moves.
Split Seconds of 2016 are a tighter and crisper proposition with an energetic collection of new tunes from their Rest & Relocation album. New Recluse shows the Melbourne influence with the type of bright guitars and pop smarts that were the bread and butter of bands such as The Lucksmiths and is a Split Seconds strength.

The bearded four piece proved that their new stuff is as good as their old stuff. She Hits You is given more bite than on the record, Relocation Blues is charmingly tongue in cheek and Any Minute Now is a vibrant and dynamic closer for these melodic rockers. Tonight was a triumphant homecoming for Split Seconds, albeit on too brief a visit.

Originally published in X-Press Magazine