“You need a higher education to understand this music,” joked Ausmuteants guitarist Jake Robinson, “Lucky we’re doing this at a university.” The Geelong punks then proceeded to blister through tracks about extreme apathy and the cathartic power of having sex with cops. Robinson’s quip was one of several bits of banter from the DIY-minded lineup that seemed equal parts thrilled and bemused to be playing in the courtyard of Victoria’s Most Prestigious University.
Terry’s square-dance jangle sound has evolved some darker post-punk elements since the release of last year’s excellent Talk About Terry EP. Which makes sense considering the band’s vintage (Constant Mongrel, Total Control, Eastlink). But most punters clearly weren’t ready for laconic Al Montfordisms buried in a muddy wall of feedback and it felt like the crowd were just standing around killing time between lectures.
Tyrannamen used sheer force to push through the mud with vocalist Nic Imfeld bleeding his heart and jolting his limbs about like a Woodstock-era Joe Cocker. At times they locked together with the garage soul energy of Royal Headache (on a good day) but they’ve got that extra pub-rock stomp to get the blood pumping.
A glitchy, self-aware monologue introduced Parquet Courts over the loudspeaker, announcing that, yes, we were now in Brooklyn art-rock territory. They opened with Dust from their latest, critically adored LP Human Performance. A song that assures us we’re all inhaling air-grot and also gives co-lead Austin Brown a chance to show off his John Cale organ-work and his Lou Reed feedback squeals. Unfortunately Brown’s amp drowned out the guitar interplay between himself and Andrew Savage, which is one of the things that make the band great. That said, it sounded more balanced in the middle of the crowd. And from there the standout moments (like the mid-set “one… two.. three” into garage-stomper Borrowed Time) felt extra charged – like they truly deserve their title as one of most exciting bands in the scene. It also must be said that they also played for a generous amount of time, and that Austin had enough rock’n’roll swagger to wear sunglasses at night. Respect.
Words by Sam West
Photo by Ian Laidlaw