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Although I missed headliners PISSED JEANS to catch D.O.A. down the street at the M Room (see entry #5 on this week’s list) and I got there a bit too late to check out the promising-sounding opening band POP. 1280, I made sure to catch only the 2nd Philadelphia appearance ever (and the first in four years) of this great Melbourne, Australia band. They have a reputation as Melbourne’s greatest live band and this show was ample evidence of how that reputation was earned. Simply put, they were sick. Singer BRENDAN SUPPRESSION (not his birth name, I gather) ran around the small stage like a maniac, dancing in a robotic gesture that was half IAN CURTIS and half COLIN NEWMAN circa 1978. He also ran around into the audience during the encore (along with bassist ROB SOLID) and climbed up into the balcony. Although I’ve seen many frontmen do this sort of stuff, this didn’t feel forced. He seemed to be genuinely possessed at times.
And the music? Incredible. They walk that very tasty line between really tight, but with just the right amount of grit and dirt. They’re clearly a garage/punk band, but unlike so many bands in that genre, they’re not afraid to stretch out. Several of their songs last over six minutes (very unusual for the genre) and at times they seem to be as influenced by the approaches of ’70s hard rock bands as much as say, obvious influences like THE SAINTS or WIRE. This creates a very uncommon sound within the current indie/punk landscape.
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