PHOTOS: Lizzard Wizzard, Deafcult, Hobo Magic, Hurricane Death — January 7th, 2017 @ Crowbar, AUS

Hurricane Death’s gritty, full-force aesthetic provided an intimidating start to the night. Reminiscent of thrashier Nails, the aptly-named five-piece performed an impressive, though seemingly short-lived set which easily lent to the mental images of being smashed apart by high-speed debris amidst a furious hurricane. The throaty, crust-laden guitar tones in combination with the punchy and relentless drumming provided the perfect basis for the thicc, barked yells conjured by the band’s stand in vocalist; an industrial cement mixer. 

Following a series of technical issues, which, after much on-stage tension; amounted to nothing more than a simple broken guitar lead, Hobo Magic gracefully pushed through to deliver an exceedingly enjoyable set. Blending 70’s era prog ala Gentle Giant & King Crimson, with stoner rock like Electric Wizard & Black Sabbath was the perfect segue, and illustrated just how alive the stoner/doom scene is in Brisbane. If there was an award for the best bass tone I’ve personally heard in the last twelve months, it would appropriately belong to this band; the fuzzy grinding vibrations echoed through my chest, initially taking me completely by surprise. Throughout their set, the band propelled an infectiously warm, cheery vibe as they exchanged smiles and laughter on stage, creating a welcoming atmosphere and an excellent send-off show for their now-ex drummer, Carter.

If you took the shoegaze elements from Deafheaven, combined them with the melodic, post rock properties of Oceansize, and somehow also managed to incorporate a heavy Smashing Pumpkins vibe into the mix, you’d have Deafcult. The six-piece opened their set by thanking the traditional aboriginal land owners for the Brisbane area, which was a pleasant and refreshing change from every other show I’ve seen to date, using their platform as a band to highlight the all-too-real fact that aboriginal sovereignty is still not recognised by the Australian legal system. The band also wasted no time in mentioning they felt a bit out of place on the bill, being the least “stoner rock” band of the night, but continued to note that they enjoyed both rock music and getting stoned, and that was enough for them. While I initially agreed with their sentiments of being an odd choice, the more their set progressed; the more I came to appreciate their sound. Four guitarists sporting hefty pedalboards, two of which who sang together in harmony, a bassist and a consistently in-the-pocket drummer all helped to craft a sparkling, ethereal, encapsulating experience which left me as equally stunned as I was impressed.

Following a six-month hiatus, Lizzard Wizzard seemed incredibly stoked to be back on stage, now with the welcome addition of a synth player, adding yet another facet to a band already brimming with quality. Opening with a track from their debut album, the band boasted a meticulously polished performance, nailing every scream, riff and beat with incredulous ease. As they moved through their set, the group maintained a strong connection with the audience, encouraging circle pits and crowd surfing, along with their characteristic on-stage banter of pizza, WWE and smoking weed. The perhaps lesser-known fact of Lizzard Wizzard is that the band themselves do not partake in stoner culture, but have merely utilised the genre’s formula to their advantage, in a clever yet clearly satirical manner. Unsurprisingly, their new album ‘Total War Power Bastard’ translates exceedingly well to the live stage, as if that was the state in which the songs were intended to be played from the very point of their inception. The new synth player brought his own host of effect pedals and analogue equipment that proved to be the missing element I never knew Lizzard Wizzard needed. Appearing as a stronger, beefier rendition of their previous selves, the band have well and truly hit their stride. Check out the fan-shot video of their set, as well as the photos below!

 

Lizzard Wizzard

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Deafcult

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Hobo Magic

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Hurricane Death

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