by Chris Familton
Bruce!, a name so good it warrants an exclamation mark, hail from the Wollongong area and brought some of their no-frills rock up to the big smoke. They played hard, fast and exceptionally tight rock and showed their record collections are probably populated with albums by bands like Misfits (who they covered), Clutch and Queens of the Stone Age. Having three vocalists gave them different angles to work with from Alice in Chains-ish crooning to guttural punk screams but the real bonus is that they have the songs to back it all up. Big wire-taut riffs with chord progressions that felt fresh and chunky.
X are worthy of are the title ‘local legends’ and with Steve Lucas calling time on the band in 2012 it feels like a rare treat to see them live again. The trio played a low-key set to only 30 people but their songs and musicality tore through the room on the back of some savage bass playing and Cathy Green’s effortless drumming. Lucas delivered some stinging guitar playing as they ran through classics like Mother, Degenerate Boy, I Don’t Want To Go Out and Revolution. Let’s hope there is still more to come from X.
The audience grew slightly for Endless Boogie but it was a disappointing turnout for a band that have garnered a lot of plaudits for their brand of mantra-like boogie rock. Frontman Paul Major looked like a lost relic of 70s rock and NY punk and though he did sing, that facet of their performance is fairly irrelevant. Their strength lay firmly with their extended drone-like songs that ebbed and flowed to mesmerising effect. Built on some impressive drumming that doffed its cap to the metronomic qualities of krautrock and bass and rhythm guitar that were content to sit deep in the groove and serve Major’s shredding they conjured up an intoxicating sound, the kind that takes over your neck muscles and makes head shaking irresistible. Their main set only comprised a handful of songs, such was the length of them and the audience looked surprised the set ended so soon. They returned with Smoking Figs in the Yard but it was a shame so few were there to witness a performance that was the perfect synthesis of ZZ Top and The Stooges.
this review was first published in The Drum Media and on themusic.com.au