JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED // The Breakdowns This Evening–Of Which There Are Many–Sound Gigantic

JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED with She Cries Wolf, Endless & Ivorylane
The Brightside, Brisbane 
Tuesday April 24th, 2018

So, the Gallipoli Campaign was 103 years ago … which is pretty wild when you think about it. Fast forward to now, and there’s a bunch of young hardcores lining up at the Brightside on a Tuesday evening to get a little silly and pre-game their soon-to-be nursed hangovers for the upcoming public holiday.

MORE: Dead Of Winter Festival: Drop Mammoth Second Line-Up Announcement

We’re not sure if Ivorylane is a Blood Diamond reference that we can’t quite place, but watching their set is essentially like playing a game of ‘Hardcore Band Bingo’ (check them off yourself, for those playing at home): various members wearing some form of sleeveless merch; a song that begins with a breakdown; one dude in <insert code here> sports jersey; guitarist holding his ‘axe’ up by the fret at some point, gazing intently at the crowd for acknowledgment; one dude with a backwards hat and/or hand tattie; rehearsed stomp moves; a telegraphed breakdown to finish a song. Musically, it’s an earnest performance, but if you’ve been to a show in the last fifteen years or so, then listening to a bunch of borrowed In Flames riffs, passed through a filter of As I Lay Dying demos circa 2003–complete with an over-compressed mix, everything sitting in the mid-range and gain cranked up to 6000–is hardly going to challenge your expectations of what an opening band should be.

Ivorylane // Andrew Vaughan

Sunshine Cast outfit Endless take a strictly no-frills approach to tough guy hardcore with their curiously short set, and tonight’s crowd needs only the slightest encouragement before the dedicated start to swing fists. Tracks like Generation S and S.O.T.R. get a solid and enthusiastic response for the revellers up on the deck, spectating on the scrimmage down below. There’s a definite Bitter End/Down To Nothing flavour to their sound at times, and someone next to us remarks to their associate: “It’s kind of like Mindsnare,” which causes us to both guffaw and dive into our beer in the same gesture.

Endless // By Andrew Vaughan

Next up are Gold Coast wrecking crew She Cries Wolf. The four-piece are certainly no strangers to The Brightside stage, and before the lights dim there’s already a heavy throng up front, pulling the brim down on their snapbacks and dad hats, seemingly ready for war. Must be that time of year we guess. There’s a wild, manic energy to their set as they barrel through banger after banger from 2016’s Doubt record. Anthemic tracks like Chapter II and We’re All Arsonists get the crowd fist-pumping and (somewhat hilariously) stage diving. The mosh contingent comes out for Midnight and its pneumatic mid-section, and we’re stoked to see some ladies representing in the pit, where one lass is wearing a pink polo long-sleeve and looks like she’d definitely carve up at lacrosse. Old favourite Baal gets a look in, and has punters scrambling over each other to rip the mic out of vocalist Luke Harriss’ hands, screaming along to the “Put down your rifle/run for your life” gang vocal. Guitarist Daniel Belic decides to spend his birthday with his strap in his mouth, working the edge of the pit with a murderous glare in his eyes. The band wraps up their set with new track Cultist, which Harriss remarks is a ‘new beginning’ for the band and it’s a total barn-burner: mercifully short, loaded with incendiary lyrics and a devastating breakdown as finale. Here’s hoping for a new album sometime soon.

She Cries Wolf // By Andrew Vaughan

With tonight’s headliners Justice For The Damned coming all the way from Sydney, we’re pleased to see some solid mid-week attendance, as the room fills up from the stage and back up the stairs to the bar. Things get off to a shaky start, with the band’s opening track suffering from technical difficulties and some glaring obvious clipping and distortion. However, once that’s fixed, the HM-2 inspired outfit get down to business and quickly work the crowd into overdrive. There’s a reason Justice’s ‘hey, let’s do Nails, but also breakdowns’ sound has resonated with crowds both domestic and abroad: it’s just a whole lot of fun. Ragers like Lilac and the title track from 2017’s exceptional Dragged Through The Dirt are disgusting in the best possible way: grimy riffs, frosty blast beats and cavernous drum fills, alongside caustic vocals courtesy of indominable frontman Bobak Rafiee.

Justice for The Damned // By Andrew Vaughan

The band spends most of their set bathed in red and blue hues, working through tracks both old and new. Deep Rotting Fear gets a welcome cheer from fans, with Rafiee pointing his fingers like a loaded gun into the crowd, demanding more two-step like a mob enforcer. The breakdowns this evening–of which there are many–sound gigantic, and it seems the crowd is ultimately given three choices: pit, headbang as a full-body movement, or get the fuck out of the way. Bearing The Crown of Lies sounds even bigger live than it does on record, with weaponised bottom-end and intricate guitar interplay from Nick Adams. Overall, Justice bring the goods with their set this evening and as it ends, Rafiee gives a sincere shout out to the Brissy fans for coming out mid-week and showing some love. Much obliged mate.

Justice For The Damned // By Andrew Vaughan

Latest News