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 Everett True

Bent + Raus + California Girls @ The Haunt, Brisbane, 27.03.15

Bent + Raus + California Girls @ The Haunt, Brisbane, 27.03.15
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This is part of Happyfest, a fundraiser for 4ZZZ. 4ZZZ is a Brisbane institution, a community radio station that served as a focal point for dissent during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen years. The fact it’s taken me seven years to make contact – I finally performed live on Matt Kennedy’s show on Wednesday as part of BLMW15 – goes some way towards explaining the dislocation I feel with the city. Many of these people are my people (roughly), but I don’t know them.

Maybe that means they’re not my people. Whatever.

Circles within circles within circles.

California Girls and Raus drive down from Canberra to be here tonight: homemade electronica, sporadically engaging. Drum machine loops and oscillating keyboards and hypnotic refrains… I’m sure you’ve been there. Makes one wonder why they ain’t down the dance club cross the street, warping and bending expectations. California Girls aren’t too well-named, frankly. I’ve heard too many tortured tuneless vocals matched melancholy electropop (the shadow of New Order still falls long and wide). When he’s good, he recalls Tasmania’s Native Cats. This only happens sometimes. Here’s the music.

The dude from Raus I appreciate: he exhibits a wired, frenzied intensity shaking his arms and bowing his head, shuffling a quick one-step, as around him keyboards implode and shudder in a timeframe of mutant dislocation. You know he feels it, and that counts for much. The first song he sings (the rest is instrumental) and he sings deep and low and sonorous like an Aussie raised on too much Bauhaus (a band who split before he was born: a band I doubt he’s heard) or Interpol and it makes me smile because it’s special, all these squiggles and loops and sudden sparkled detonations of sound, and it also reminds me of Jed Smith’s Syster Darkwyne project.

Now I’m getting super obscure: it’s like a Venn Diagram of obscurity. Talk about band A that only maybe 100 people know, then compare them to band B that even less know and then see if anything collides whatsoever.

Here’s the music.

And here’s what he looks like.

Raus

The Guardian recently called Brisbane three-piece Bent “currently Australia’s finest underground band” so ‘course I need to see them. Raw and feral and cathartic and explatory and confrontational (in a passive-aggressive sense) and leaping around the stage from one bendy floorboard to another and falling apart and getting back up and back together again and bouncy and sharp and acidic and strange dislocated guitar motifs that leave us hanging in mid-air and brutal and hopeful and placating and playful and questioning and sharp and Wet Dog and drums and drums and drums and drumming… it’s all about the drums, ‘cept it’s all about Female Singer’s Socks, ‘cept it’s all ’bout Male Singer’s battered bruised BENT guitar strings, ‘cept it’s all about the squealing and pain, ‘cept it’s all ’bout the drums (I am SO jealous of Bent having a drummer like this)….

Wait a second, I’d like to reproduce my last Wet Dog review (from 2009) in full.

Smash. Ow! Splatter. Ow! LA LA LA LA LA. Ow ow! Budda budda budda budda. Ow ow! Ah-ah-ah. Smash smash. Smash smash. (Ducks.) (Hides.) Smash! Ow ow. (Scurries around quickly.) Tinkle tinkle tinkle tinkle. It’s like 1980 never arrived.

Currently Australia’s finest underground band? Man, fucking hypemongers at The Guardian need to know when to shut the fuck up.

Wait a second, let’s have some Salt N’ Pepa. Let’s talk about sex baby. I already knew Bent were Brisbane’s sexiest band before I knew who they were. No use denyin’, be falsifyin’. Tonight doesn’t change that status. Kinda band makes me want to clamber on stage with them and do a version of Liz Phair’s ‘Flower’ accompanied by scouring violin just to lay open my vulnerability. Man, wouldn’t that be sweet if I lived in the kinda world where that could happen? Ah well. Can but dream.

Every time I see your face
I get all wet between my legs
Every time you pass me by
I heave a sigh (of pain)

Here’s what they sound like.

Go check the goddamn album out.

7 Responses to Bent + Raus + California Girls @ The Haunt, Brisbane, 27.03.15

  1. Everyone is thinking it March 29, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    If you are just going to make entry level comments about electronic music, do not hit publish on the article. Your view points are embarassing and pedestrian. Name dropping the shadow of New Order is cringe inducing and to suggest the idea that they had never heard the group is baffling. Do you live in a cave without broadband? My grandmother has heard New Order when they were the Sports Tonight theme song you dork. Finally, you drive up from canberra, not down. Stop writing about youthful music, just get a job in insurance and fade away you baby boomer dinosaur.

  2. Everett True March 29, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    As Tom Morgan responded on Facebook: “‘down from canberra’. cool. I grew up near newcastle, but we always ‘drove up to sydney’.”

    Doubtless someone like yourself who gets Bauhaus confused w/New Order (read the review again, doofus) might have a problem placing Mr Morgan’s name in Aus music. I’d suggest Google.

    Do I need to spell this out for you? “Down from Canberra” is a colloquialism, doofus.

  3. Everyone is thinking it March 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Nobody gives a half a fuck what some ageing 90s guy has to say on Facebook. The guy from Smudge has something to say on the internet? Stop the presses that sounds frighteningly prescient in two thousand and fifteen. What other boundless wisdom spills from this genius’s mouth?

    A comparison to Bauhaus is as pedestrian as New Order. What else do you reckon? How bout the sound like…Joy Division!

  4. Everett True March 29, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Did Bauhaus also provide the theme to Sports Tonight then?

    Glad to see you can use Google. Was “colloquialism” too long to type in? Bit disappointed you haven’t found a sparkling comeback to that one. Oh wait… you didn’t manage to find a sparkling comeback on being called out for getting your facts wrong either.

  5. Everett True March 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    It’s cool though, anonymous Troll-like being. Your factless comments are bringing additional attention to a post about a great, mostly unknown, band. We’re up to 23 hits now, and counting.

    Keep going. And good on ya for Trolling a positive review so more people will read it.

  6. Everyone is thinking it March 29, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Bauhaus didn’t do the theme for Sports Tonight. You can find that information on Google since you are so fond of it.

    Why are you so cut that I called out your colloquialism? It wasn’t half as goofy as your writing on modern music.

  7. Everett True March 29, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    “Youthful music”? “Modern music”? You write for The Monthly and I claim my five dollars.

    I’m bored with you now Mr or Ms Troll. See you around. It’s been real. (P.S. Don’t argue with the person with the mic.)

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