Live Review: Terrible Truths, Sui Zhen, Jess Ribeiro

4 February 2016 | 2:26 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"From track to track the band showcase complexity and proficiency while somehow managing to make it feel effortless."

It's the third day of PBS' Drive Live extravaganza. The talent and punters are back in the studios for another afternoon of live to air rockin'.

After a big year that saw the release of her Mick Harvey-produced album Kill It Yourself and a killer set at Meredith, Jess Ribeiro kicks off the afternoon of tunes. With a full band in tow, early highlights come from sombre rocker Kill It Yourself and the country-tinged If You Were A Kelpie. The sound at times does feel a little muddy although that could be attributed to the DIY live environment we are in. But all in all it's an on-the-button set by Ribeiro and co.

We hang out in the main area for a primo view of Sui Zhen, but it turns out she is (annoyingly) playing in another studio. The result is everyone cramming into the hallway and that 'primo' view rattles down to craning to watch a portion of Zhen's head. You'd think the anger would subside with the calming melody of Take It All Back but the sound is so unbalanced it comes across as a further agitation. Infinity Street is another letdown and is a shell of the recorded version. Although it is known and accepted that the music of Sui Zhen is hard to replicate live, it is a little bit disappointing that today falls so short.

The room is packed come final act of the day, Terrible Truths. The trio open with the inner-city beach pop of Uptight, which inspires a bunch of awkward dancing and head bopping. From track to track the band showcase complexity and proficiency while somehow managing to make it feel effortless. The easiest way to sum up the band's sound is The B-52's meets a more monotone Bikini Kill with a bit of scuzz thrown into the mix. This becomes more apparent in the set's final moments, particularly during Lift Weights. Ultimately today equals another sturdy notch in their tight belt.

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