Live Review: The Family Jordan, Sacred Shrines, In Caves, Hypnotic Bedrooms

13 July 2015 | 4:55 pm | Alice Bopf

"They’re charming, welcoming and thoroughly enjoying themselves as they glide from one track to the next."

The first act on the bill – Hypnotic Bedrooms, hailing from the Gold Coast – stumble on stage a bit behind schedule and soon seem to find their groove. While their set is full of enthusiasm and obvious showmanship, it takes slow and understated rock too far, landing on a sound that is lacking. The result is a performance that fits the bill on paper, but is a bit too lacklustre to create a lasting impression.

Up next are Brisbane’s own In Caves. At first, they seem happy to greet the growing audience and open with some intensive percussion marrying well with their light and airy sound. While they do hit all the marks and tick all the boxes of any set list – a soaring vocal here, a gradual guitar build there and some solo action in between – they seem to be playing it safe, unsure of their own direction. It’s clear these guys are technically-capable musicians, but their performance appears to be just going through the motions. For any genre of music, this isn’t too entertaining; for a self-professed psych-rock outfit, it seems they missed the opportunity to experiment and play with the live platform.

Local act Sacred Shrines follow, in celebration of their new single, and impress from the start with their solid sound. Their velvety haze of reverberating psych sounds washes over the crowd and invites gig-goers to boogie in their places. Theirs is a classic psych sound with understated rock influences, a combination that’s a stand-out in the live setting. Phil Usher, accompanied by Beata Maglai, delivers at-ease vocals, seamlessly complementing the sometimes-slinky and often syncopated stylings of the rest of the band. One of the many stand-out tracks from an overall stellar set includes their latest release, The Badge And The Gun

Co-highlights of the evening and fellow Brisbanites The Family Jordan grace the stage to round out the evening, their dreamy strand of folksy psych a well-received change of pace. The live seven-piece fill the stage as their sound of violins and guitars a-plenty fill The Zoo and give audiences a new perspective on the genre. They’re charming, welcoming and thoroughly enjoying themselves as they glide from one track to the next. Some tracks are reminiscent of spaghetti western soundtracks, such as the strumming tune, Red Light, whereas others call to mind the big-song vibes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre – tunes from their latest release, such as Spirit Stand. Overall, a great collective of musicians who marry the unexpected to the familiar psych waves and howling tunes the audience knows and loves. 

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