written by Chris Familton
Two newish Sydney bands were on the bill with Kiwi noise-niks Die! Die! Die!, both of them having risen from bands that bit the dust in the last year.
Up first were Myth & Tropics featuring ex The Scare guitarist Liam O’Brien with his new three-piece. Essentially they are mining some of the same territory of his previous band with heavy danceable guitar rock that leans toward the gothic side of things. There were hints of Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and P.I.L in there but it didn’t come across as a mopefest. Interestingly they seemed to be utilising a few samples and playing along to pre-recorded bass. Tracks like Promised a Good Time sounded built for a crowd wanting to cut loose on the dance-floor. Myth & Tropics looked great and sounded promising.
Chicks Who Love Guns rose from the ashes of a few bands, the most notable being The Wahas. These guys all went through high school and in many ways still look like a high school band, fresh faced and growing into themselves. Musically though they are nearly fully formed with a wild thrashing sound bound together by coruscating guitars, primal drumming and vocals dripping with attitude. Though some songs seemed to be built more on energy than great ideas their set improved as they relaxed into the music and a faint whiff of danger crept in. Frontman Cass Navarro fills the role with aplomb, prowling, swaggering and showing some Iggy Pop sneer and disdain when required. Vocally he shape-shifts between Mr Pop and the garage rock exaltations of the now defunct D4.
Touring on the back of their third album Form, Die! Die! Die! appeared from behind the OAF curtains in a blinding sea of smoke and white light. It certainly felt like something special was on the cards and from the first song they delivered. They played like it was their last night on earth – guitars swinging in a gloriously jagged collision of melody and anxiety, drumsticks pounding with the urgency of a controlled panic attack.
Having signed to recently reborn Flying Nun Records feels like a masterstroke for Die! Die! Die in the sense that they are firmly working in a long lineage of New Zealand guitar bands that embrace noise, art, aggression and melody in equal measures. The newer songs have taken on new layers of sonic sheen like the gorgeous, almost delicate touch of Caseman that exploded into a chorus worthy of Bailter Space. Interestingly the ghost of associated band The Gordons as well as the more industrial Skeptics inhabited many moments of the band’s all too brief set.
Singer/guitarist Andrew Wilson plays like he is late for an appointment, all frenetic urgency, pent up anger and frustration boiling over into his on-stage physicality. He frequently tossed his guitar aside, leaped into the crowd and screamed from atop the stairs or the bar – anywhere he found himself. We Built Our Own Oppressors saw him lurching across the stage as the the crowd sang along with arms aloft, accenting the whoah’s in the chorus. A.T.T.I.T.U.D. was a brilliantly barking industrial punk anthem over little more than distorted bass and hammering drums.
Just as the crowd felt comfortably uncomfortable with Die! Die! Die!’s art noise and shoegaze terror pop it all ended – three sweat drenched bodies staggering offstage and an audience left buzzing. The Kiwi trio showed how great intense music can be when played with passion, volume and creativity and reaffirmed how blissfully exciting live music can be.
this review first appeared on FasterLouder