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Live Review: The Pretty Littles, Neighbourhood Youth, Sun Sap

8 November 2016 | 11:16 am | Ben Nicol

"The Pretty Littles intently approach each of their songs with a level of unwavering passion."

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Six-piece Sun Sap squeezed onto a disproportioned stage to kick off the night's proceedings with groovy psych jams, articulated with the professionalism of tried and true musicians. Beckoning involvement from a sparse crowd, Sun Sap flourished most during their few uptempo tracks which saw them dance and jump with joyous energy.

Promising indie-rockers Neighbourhood Youth followed this up by taking listeners under a sea of reverb-heavy guitars, fused with rhythmically precise percussions and a deep powerful vocal lead. The quartet's song transitions flowed seamlessly, and band interaction became more fluid and comfortable as they progressed. The melodically gripping For Nothing utilised choral harmonies that were expertly navigated by John Phillip's crooning baritone vocals. Atlantic evoked the first boogie of the night, before finishing on a well-deserved high with some new material.

It was with a simple shrug and a "Hey Mark [the sound guy], go for it" that The Pretty Littles diverged into an explosive performance that saw not an ounce of energy reserved. Touring to promote their new album Soft Rock For The Anxious, The Melbourne outfit drew heavily from these fresh tunes, while interweaving their origin stories to humble and hilarious effect.

A testament to his charismatic nature, frontman Jack Parsons was open to any and all discussions brought forward by the punters. This resulted in an impromptu performance of System Of A Down's Chop Suey! and Thirsty Merc's 20 Good Reasons. The band's cheeky grins were reflected by those head-banging along. However, for a group who appear to not take themselves too seriously, The Pretty Littles intently approach each of their songs with a level of unwavering passion that refuses to dissolve.

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Whether he was hunched over his guitar in pure euphoria during Pride or conducting a singalong for older track Noobie, Parsons maintained crowd focus all night. Their final two offerings also garnered fervent responses in Helluva Tuesdi, a fuzz-induced rock banger, and the similarly fast-paced Kerosene. The latter was reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys before breaking down into a thunderous, riff-heavy outro, capping off an incredibly engaging performance.