It’s been two decades since their last album but time and musical trends seems inconsequential to Feedtime as they return to grind out another slab of primitive and unrelenting rock.
They’ve still got that leaden lurch and queasy slide guitar that shifts and shudders like a displaced iceberg in a drunken sea. Perennial underdogs, they proved immensely influential on a raft of bands, from Jesus Lizard to Harvey Milk and here they reclaim their place at the unhinged intersection of post-punk, cow-punk and sludge rock.
The bass is still rough and growling, the guitar like exposed nerve endings and the vocals still sound like a bad night out on the booze. Some things, thankfully, never change.
Vivid Live deserves a pat on the back for inviting Nic Warnock’s R.I.P Society label to celebrate their 5th birthday with a stylistically varied lineup of a dozen acts that have been released on the label or share its open-minded and independent approach to music.
Things started off skronky and dissonant with Ghastly Spats before frontman Lincoln Brown ditched his guitar, picked up a new band (Housewives) and straightened the music into gonzo punk territory. With the audience attention switching across the room to another of the three stages they found Rat Columns playing their debut show and they were a real highlight. Tight, melodic, urgent and melancholic guitar pop that perfectly balanced mood, sonics and songwriting. As quickly as structured pop/rock songs appeared they were dissected and interestingly mutated by the jazz and dub inflected Cured Pink. Warnock’s own band Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, who surprised and impressed many with their debut album, played a great set that retained the record’s suburban ennui in a low key and jovial manner.
Hobartian duo The Native Cats probably won the most new fans. Utilising bass, vocals and programming they mixed electronica and post punk, like Shellac cosying up to New Order, to great effect. There were two other electronic acts on the bill, the textural experimentation of Half High and the hypnotic dance music of Holy Balm who created the most celebratory vibe of the night. Rounding out the party were three quite different bands – Woollen Kits and theiremotive jangle pop, the seminal feedtime who delivered the heaviest, most pummelling set and one that showed just why they are deemed so influential and finally the finest exponents of deconstructed rock music – New Zealand’s The Dead C. They took all the music that preceded them and sonically disintegrated it into absorbing experimental fragments. R.I.P Society deserved such a eclectic celebration of their diverse roster and all bands delivered appropriately fine and unique performances.