Live Review: Stories, Belle Haven, Polaris, Hindsight

8 March 2016 | 4:18 pm | Will Oakeshott

"Their music has a spiritual effect that cleanses the souls of those who witness it (and the band themselves)."

More Stories More Stories

Local emotional hardcore outfit Hindsight brought the 'party' to Enigma Bar for their role as opener. It seems every one of their friends (and fans) were in attendance to sing along, crowdsurf and take part in what was a surprisingly chaotic venture. Embracing the sounds of Being As An Ocean, La Dispute, Defeater and Touche Amore, their formula certainly struck the right chord with the audience — who shouted each word with unbridled passion. Hole was the clear favourite, only rivalled by the band's cover of Sum 41's Fat Lip which transformed the attitude of the show from a rather serious and emotional experience to a crazed summer punk party. No easy feat, but a success conversion and a solid start overall.

Sydney's Polaris have taken Australia by storm since the release of their EP The Guilt & The Grief; their progressive metalcore and slightly mathcore recipe resonates with any admirers of the genre, namely Architects fans. The Undertow, Aspirations and L'appel Du Vide were frenzied but near flawless. If there was anything to fault it was probably the unnecessary use of melody in some of the quintet's songs. It definitely adds another dimension to the five-piece's sound, but it felt forced and subtracted from their intensity. Nevertheless, with the momentum Polaris has already, it has become quite obvious that their journey has only begun.

Melbourne's Belle Haven consistently brings out the crazy in Adelaide, and it's a superb trait. Their noisecore approach seems to trigger something in South Australians' minds and it is almost beautifully dangerous what unfolds. At one point there were more instruments being thrown into the air than actually being played, the drummer James Vernon was atop a speaker with part of his kit and an impossible amount of aggression, and vocalist David Vernon was waving the band's flag while pushing his screeching lungs to the edge of their capabilities. It is these moments where the quintet are at their finest, and something they sharpened viciously on their recent USA tour with post-metalcore titans Norma Jean, who obviously gave Belle Haven a higher education in mayhem. Where they falter is when they attempt to bring a Circa Survive element to their formula. It just doesn't mesh, and becomes almost stagnant at times. Hopefully with album number two, the Victorians really get to hone in on their art and find their direction.

NSW's Stories are still criminally underrated, somehow still labelled a 'dark horse'. Their album The Youth To Become is a stunning endeavour in post-metalcore, resuming where legends of the genre Underoath left off. In a live performance, their music has a spiritual effect that cleanses the souls of those who witness it (and the band themselves). Under Haze exemplified this, with frontman Morgan Dodson's vocal acrobatics effortlessly changing from his threatening growl to gritty singing while the rest of Stories flung their bodies around in tranquil disorder. Sadly Enigma Bar was far from sold out, but this did not detract form the memorable nature of the show. It would seem that Stories still have their work cut out for them. Let's just hope that the world catches on soon and appreciates their talent in the near future.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter