Live Review: The Night Terrors

9 July 2012 | 5:55 pm | Esther Rivers

"We are greeted by the spooky image of a (static-filled) triangle above the heads of the band."

Welcome to the dungeon. Toff In Town has been transformed into a gothic, parallel universe where the lights play magic tricks on your vision and the electronic beat becomes the pulse through your own veins. Picture something akin to Goblin playing in Doctor Who's (very dark) engine room.

Forces, described later by The Night Terrors' Miles Brown as “the sexiest men we know”, prove that this wave of electronic music is reaching extraordinary levels. Amidst puffs of smoke, strobe lights and some seriously smooth dance moves, the duo concoct the beats for the evening.

The curtains close in preparation for The Night Terrors and, when they are drawn open again, we are greeted by the spooky image of a (static-filled) triangle above the heads of the band. Yet few can take their eyes off the towering presence of Brown, the theremin wizard. Starting on bass, he plays with ease and looks to synth player Nedd Jones with a cheeky smile that says, “Fuck, yeah, let's do this.” The crowd respond and the beat lifts – always moving, always pulsing – until Brown steps up to the theremin, threading the soundwaves to the beat. The theremin is an extraordinary and beautiful instrument and it is an extraordinary and beautiful thing to watch Brown play it. The sound is oddly stunning, albeit peculiar, rendering an emotional reaction to this layering of sound. People are dancing in the dark as if possessed and we find ourselves equally entranced.

The Night Terrors play numbers both old and new and describing these haunting tunes is somewhat difficult. Single words spring to mind: sky, space, travel, dreamscape, running, darkness, astral, heavy, light, magic, movement, terror. The sounds of the theremin provide such a wonderful juxtaposition to the synth-heavy rock music and create a fantastic escape for the darker musical souls of Melbourne city. Blasts of light and smoke burst across the stage as the songs intensify to keep stride with strong metal riffs. The result is an all-encompassing wall of rhythmic sound, a spectacularly original and brilliant performance, rising from the playground of nightmares. “Thanks for coming Melbourne, you sexy devils,” says Brown, before thrashing along to finish the set. No, thank you.

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