1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
TURNOVER with Turnstile (USA), Endless & Bloom Parade
Monday March 5th, 2018
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
It’s time for a rock concert on a school night as we cross Ann Street in the Fortitude Valley, to form an assembly line of entry with the other 100 or so people standing in front of Woolly Mammoth this evening, eagerly awaiting tonight’s indie versus hardcore mash-up. Regrettably, security is making very slow work of their whole ‘letting people in to the club’ business, and we stand on the curb for close to 20 minutes before we even get within reach of the door. And this only 15 minutes after doors open… and with nary a pesky I.D. Scanner in sight. Hhhmmm…
Given that it takes us so long to get inside the venue on a relatively quiet weekday, this also means that we unfortunately miss tonight’s local openers, alternative outfit Bloom Parade, and end up listening to the vague rumblings of their set from the street outside. Once we’re allowed inside, we run in to guitarist Chris Hill near the stage, apologise profusely for our tardiness, vehemently disparage the venue’s lethargic attitude to efficient entry, and then ask how their set went. With a kilowatt smile, Hill beams and says: ‘Yeah man, it was good.’ And I guess that’ll have to do folks. However, if you happen to wrangle some Internet sometime soon, give their new single Recurring Dream a spin; it’s the goods.
Alongside our mates Duncan and Johnny Ringo (this is the portion of the review where you can happily play ‘Spot The Alias’), we take up position around a barrel near the bar and watch as Sunny Coast hardcore crew ENDLESS get ready to take the stage. Bringing an element of the tough-guy crowd to tonight’s upbeat proceedings, the quintet waste little time in trying to rip shit up. Tracks like Generation S and S.O.T.R. from last year’s split with Brainfreeze offer heavy riffs, pounding rhythms and coarse vocals. However, the crowd seems mostly unimpressed, content to stand and gawk, rendering the band’s attempts at stage interaction mostly inert. At times the band’s sound reminds us of Texans Bitter End, but they’ll need more standout songwriting to emerge from the horde of other bands who listened to that one Madball album that one time. We still give credit to Endless where it’s due, as they’re clearly stoked to be on the bill, thanking the bands and promoters for the opportunity, while keeping their set short and sweet.
The anticipation behind the main support act tonight is huge, and the crowd gets noticeably thicker as Baltimore boys Turnstile get ready to give Brisbane some of that Maryland flavour. Right from the opening chords, the only appropriate word is bedlam. The front of the crowd swings and sways like a tide turning with every banging riff, as revellers storm the stage one by one, dancing across the foldbacks before flinging themselves back out again, all flailing limbs and reckless abandon. The band deals exclusively in frenetic, fuzzed-out hardcore punk with a massive 90s nostalgia boner, and real talk here for a second: it’s fucking sick.
New tracks from killer LP Time & Space set Woolly Mammoth off like a powder keg: there’s huge breaks in songs like Real Thing and Generator that get people slamming up front and bopping in time up back; guitarist Brady Ebert and bassist Franz Lyons hang some serious air-time in older numbers like Drop and Fazed Out from 2015’s excellent Nonstop Feeling, which rocks some serious thrash hey-day headbang moments. At one point, vocalist Brendan Yates–who, with his hair growing out, cuts a figure not unlike a hardcore Andy Samberg–swings from the stage monitors to get a better vantagepoint for crowd involvement. At others, he simply lobs the mic into the seething pit, and cuts a rug on the stage, letting the band’s instrumentals flow through him like electric current. When there’s a momentary lull in the set, Yates turns to the crowd and simply demands that they “Come on up.” And they gladly oblige, right until the sweaty end of crowd-pleaser Gravity and it’s monstrous stomping riff crescendo.
After the boundless energy of the previous set, it’s likely hard for headliners Turnover to come out and match energy for energy. Thankfully, the band do the exact opposite and take things down several notches with their blissful take on summery indie guitar-pop. With an almost subdued air about them, the quartet diligently work through banger after consecutive banger from 2015’s Peripheral Vision and last year’s Good Nature, pulling out an almost hour-long set. Hits like Super Natural and Nightlight Girl wash over the crowd like a warm summer’s breeze, with twinkly riffs and delicate words from guitarist/vocalist Austin Getz.
But it’s the prime cuts off Peripheral Vision that garner the biggest crowd response, with huge sing-a-longs and raised hands for the big chorus moments in Hello Euphoria and Dizzy On The Comedown. Movement on stage is kept to a minimum, echoing the shoegaze school of thought, with bassist Danny Dempsey and drummer Casey Getz content to plod along and focus on the hits. Turning to non-album selections, we’re pleased to hear Humblest Pleasures snuck in to tonight’s setlist, as it has some of the band’s best vocal-guitar interplay, with soaring leads and contemplative melodies. Moving towards the sets end, there’s a couple of lads next to us getting carried away with the footy calls, but we can’t really blame them, because New Scream and Cutting My Fingers Off are utterly infectious, and music just does things to people, ok? Wrapping up their first Aussie headline set with the glorious Humming, Turnover make more than a fair impression on tonight’s enthusiastic crowd, and something tells us that it won’t be long before they’re back knocking on Brisbane’s door for a fourth time.
Wednesday March 7, The Small Room, Newcastle NSW (18+) with Jacob & Rage
Thursday March 8, The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW (Lic/AA) with Oslow & Homesick
Friday March 9, Uni Bar, Woolongong NSW (18+) with Blue Velvet & Whatever Forever
Saturday March 10, Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC (18+) with Neighbourhood Youth & Broken
Sunday March 12, Enigma Bar, Adelaide SA (Lic/AA) with Sleep Talk & Towns
Tuesday March 13, Amplifier Bar, Perth WA (18+) with Flowermouth & No Brainer