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Live Review: Touché Amoré, Make Do And Mend, Travels

2 November 2012 | 1:26 pm | Benny Doyle

Although it's a legitimate night to be a freak this evening, not many people are getting freaky to the sounds of Brisbane five-piece Travels when they kick off proceedings. That's not to say the band aren't giving it their all onstage; hell, their frontman is running long, sweaty laps around the stairwell at one point. But for all the explosive post-hardcore and tattooed clenched fists being wheeled out over the course of their set, it's not until The Roman finale that some vitality is seen from the front row.
For most people at The Zoo tonight, this evening is a legitimate double bill featuring two packs from 'The Wave' movement, which started gaining momentum last year, with Boston's Make Do And Mend the first of the pairing to take the stage. The four-piece get down to business from the get-go, launching into Disassemble before reaching back to a few tracks from their debut album, End Measured Mile, with roaring takes on both Oak Square and Thanks. James Carroll is visceral with his delivery, his passion obvious as sweat pours down his face. His intense verses give the songs another dimension in the live realm, while the bass work of Luke Schwartz is worthy of the high kicks he releases sporadically throughout the set. Hide Away and St Anne bring the tempo down later but offer another shade to the band, the choruses sitting especially harmonious with the lead guitar of Mike O'Toole. Carroll then gives a subtle shout-out to the locals in his introduction to Stay In The Sun before Unknowingly Strong brings it all to a close in an energetic flurry.

There's a lot of love coming from the front of stage when Californian headliners Touché Amoré dive right into Art Official from their defining 2011 record, Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me. Frontman Jeremy Bolm is sharing his mic around with whoever wants it while his bandmates thrash about in their own individual zones. With few of the group's tracks coming in at more than two minutes, the set chops and changes relentlessly. Nine soon morphs into Whale Belly turns into Suckerfish and Tilde, with every new song being viciously directed by the relentless drumming of shirtless Elliot Babin. The band treat fans to new straight-line hardcore track, Gravity Metaphorically, the math breakdowns cutting in a variety of ways, before a brief moment of sonic clarity then unloads back into Hideaways and Honest Sleep, the latter cut propelling bodies to fly at the stage from all corners of the pit to share in the overwhelming moment with Bolm and the Touché Amoré collective.