Live Review: The Murlocs, Spacemanantics, The Spunloves

28 October 2015 | 8:34 pm | Staff Writer

"Hiccup-less, well mixed with an electric crowd-and-performer chemistry kept the atmosphere high and the vibes good."

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It was a hazy psych-fever dream in Fremantle on Friday night with Geelong-born rockers The Murlocs returning to Fremantle’s iconic Mojo’s Bar for the western leg of their national tour in support of their new single, Rolling On. Grooving through favourites from their great debut album, Loopholes, The Murlocs were rocking confidently on stage as they swaggered through their set to an electric near capacity Mojos, and again proving themselves as a serious force in the Australian scene

Local newcomers The Wheelers Of Oz opened the night with their vintage psychedelic garage-rock sound, showcasing the reverb soaked cuts from their admirable debut album, Revivalised, with a messy urgency getting the already quite formidable crowd to shuffle and bounce. The impressive seven-piece boasted a huge sound and their catchy songs promise to become familiar amongst the local scene in the future.

Next up were The Spunloves, sharing members with the former, playing complementary tunes with less reverb and strung out jams replaced to the point '60s surf rock with choruses to be sung-a-long to which got the ever growing crowd even more amped. Exhibiting what perhaps might be the new generation of local bands, the Brian Jonestown Massacre-esque sound-collage and attitude did not bore, these were two capable groups with buckets of potential.

Fremantle boys Spacemanantics followed with a tight and impressive set of their unique kraut-rock explorations with cuts from their debut effort, Pureade’s Parade, and promising new material, the hairy five-piece got the nearly packed crowd dancing as restless bodies swayed and crashed into each under the groove. A very commanding set with some great new songs, adequately prepped the crowd for the headliners of the night.

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The Murlocs took the stage and immediately demanded attention with their trademark blues-tinged garage rock sound. Dancing, sweat and airborne beer ensued as the King Gizzard affiliates powered through their set, with charismatic frontman, Ambrose Kenny-Smith, crooning and screeching in his signature androgynous voice and, of course, armed with the harmonica, the four-piece smashed through old favourites such as Space Cadet and Paranoid Joy, nailing their fresh singles, Adolescence, and Rolling On, and unveiled some new tracks from their highly anticipated forthcoming LP, which, after the energy or this set, could not come soon enough.

Hiccup-less, well mixed with an electric crowd-and-performer chemistry kept the atmosphere high and the vibes good. It was a successful night for the four bands and an exemplary showcase of Australia’s thriving garage scene.

Originally published in X-Press Magazine