Rat Vs Possum, Towels & Footy at The Newtwon Workers Club

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Rat Vs Possum, Towels & Footy at The Newtwon Workers Club


Melbourne experimental rock act debuts its stripped back aesthetic on a wet night in Fitzroy.

Rat Vs Possum & Towels & Footy at The Newtown Workers  Club

Friday nights in December are supposed to be busy however Melbourne’s post modern take on Summer – that involves gale-force winds and a tempest’s worth of rain –turned the south-side of Brunswick street into a deserted badlands.
With this aesthetic in mind, the dim lighting and musty smell of the band room at The Newtown Worker’s Club had the feel of a bunker, and as I walked in my eyes scanned the room for the Furor and Eva Braun, cyanide pills in hand, ready to top themselves.
As the first act Footy finished up his delightful realization of the D.I.Y aesthetic the members of both Towels and Rat Vs Possum moved around the room chatting to practically everyone. There was a particular interest in the guys from Rat Vs Possum with their impending Meredith appearance (that has since passed) and the fact that this was there first appearance in many months. To add to the mystique surrounding this show RvsP front man Matt Kuleasza informed me that they were no longer playing with samplers – a sonic effect that has previously been a keystone to their live performances.
Towels’ stage lighting was enigmatic without being pretentious – actually, maybe it was a bit wanky but the fact their music is so textured and conceptually ungraspable, I guess it was kind of fitting. It involved fairy lights hanging down about a foot in front of stage and spotlights focused on the floor just at the foot of the guitarist flanked by two keyboard players. The first song to come from the three piece began with a compressed “errrr, errrrr” emitted from a synthesiser which was then crudely mimicked by Towels’ vocalist and guitarist Zayd Thring – his awkward falsetto combing with the music to create something akin to the soundtrack from Twin Peaks. Was that John Carpenter? Towels set was a bit like watching Brain surgery through a micro-camera: what is happening is amazing but at times it feels a little bit like being sucked down a dirty river with goggles on.
The grit was continued but in a far less conceptual way when Rat Vs Possum took the stage. With the omission of the Dan Deacon-esque vocal loops, Rat Vs Possum now have, for the first time a naïve garage rock feel where any pretention that may have been previously attached by haters of the band is dissipated. Standouts of the set were Binit Jua and Jungle Pills that still retained their otherworldly aspects despite their technological dressing down. Rat Vs Possum set on this blustery and most unbecoming Melbourne night was enchantingly visceral – another dimension to one of this town’s best young bands.

Dan Watt