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Live Review: The Novocaines, FOAM, Horror My Friend, Magic Bones, Little Skye, Hyla

19 March 2014 | 11:35 am | Joseph Wilson

The band finished their set with Don’t Wait, which sealed the night with strong intonations and hardcore progressions, safely affirming the band’s ability to flex their auditory muscles on stage.

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The night commenced with local alternative rock band Hyla cranking up the fuzz by playing a delicious selection of shoegaze-addled anthems from their self-titled E. Their performance of Remedy, a track from that EP, with its crunchy distortion and nasally pseudo-Mancunian vocals from the lead singer, created a solid foundation for the pleasing first act. They were followed by the indie rock quintet Little Skye, who are fronted by the soul-filled vocals of Ashby Ranson. With the inclusion of illustrious strings in the instrumentation, the result was a unique concoction of lilting folk spiked with an addled realism to the tragic blues. Magic Bones gave the crowd a '80s-esque garage sound by providing vocals reminiscent of the B-52s, a disco-like beat and swooping distorted guitar hooks. With the added backing vocals of Kiri O'Connor, the interplay between her vocals and the lead singer Dylan Thorpe created a great degree of pitch dynamics between the two vocalists. Horror My Friend created a formidable presence within their set through the inclusion of raw, rapid percussive beats and largely fuzzy intonations from the lead guitarist. One of the more notable tracks played within their set was Birds, which added some distinct Sonic Youth influences to the sound, which the crowd nodded to in appreciation.

Local grunge band FOAM followed up, by now the crowd formed around the front of the stage for HMF had grown considerably larger. Joel Martin reinforced the grungy presence of the band by his deeply toned, angsty vocals. FOAM has always been known to create dirty walls of impressive grunge at venues and this gig was no exception. “o Far So Good supplemented the set with a mischievous sense of quirkiness with its alternation between clean guitar tones in the verses and loud and often omnipresent dissonant power chords within the chorus. Towards the end of FOAM's set a mosh pit had formed within the crowd, with patrons thrashing about the place spraying copious amounts of Emu beer across the venue floor.

The night was brought to a close by the dramatic antics of The Novocaines, where the screaming vocals of Corey Marriott cut through the hard rock vibes emanating from the lead guitarist. By now the crowd was moshing violently to tracks like Trampled Hearts, Inside Out and Summer Waiting, save for a lone man who was standing transfixed by the rock music in the middle of the mosh pit, Emu beer in hand. The band finished their set with Don't Wait, which sealed the night with strong intonations and hardcore progressions, safely affirming the band's ability to flex their auditory muscles on stage.