Every second band we write about seems to be from Perth lately. Is it something in the water? Something to do with the gorgeous weather? Whatever it is that makes Perth a hotbed of great music, we figured we’d make a shortlist of Perth bands on the heavier end of the spectrum that we’re loving.
Ratking’s sound is short and sharp blasts with similarly short and sharp social commentary. Their tracks seem both a wake up call as well as the band venting their spleen. In their February released SERF, Ratking let rip about the sanctimonious who insist on sharing their opinions, the bias that exists behind authority/powers that be, socially acceptable entrapment and manipulation, pondering the point of existence, and coping with all of that in whichever means possible. Ratking’s frustrations with a seemingly backwards society are shared via blunt lyrics in songs that are addictive and frantically awesome; basically demanding repeat listens. Don’t mind if I do.
I barely know a thing about New Talk to be honest, but I can’t go past the impressiveness of their latest release “Red Tuesday”. Lone vocals calling out into the expanse with nothing but intermittent beats. Heart in your throat, the listener is immediately drawn in to the story New Talk are sharing, and the sound progressively grows into a multi-directional pulling where you’re not sure where to look. There’s so much to love about this sound that’s both ominous and beautiful.
Hear “Red Tuesday” and other releases from New Talk – https://newtalk.bandcamp.com/
Having dueling vocals where smooth facade couples or competes with gritty emotion, soaring sound, and core rattling drums, Saviour do heart-wrenching tracks well. The band’s most recent, “Headstrong”, is a reminder of the band’s capacity to share emotive heavy music where a single song carries an ongoing thread that can veer into quiet vulnerability or explosive aggression.
Hear more from Saviour on Spotify.
生 Conform 死
生 Conform 死 are a band I wish I’d been listening to for years. Their sound is tough to encapsulate with one snappy description, because it’s a multi-flavoured ride and a half with every song of their discography. ‘Nu-metal’ works perhaps, but without the connotations of negativity that that seems to come with that label (As one example, NME have scathingly referred to nu-metal as a ‘skidmark that appeared in the 90s’. Ouch).
生 Conform 死 somehow draw in the best of multiple genres and pour it all together with reckless abandon, with the listener at their whim. Instead of an odd tasting dish, the result is surprisingly delicious and something I personally can’t get enough of. It’s not just me either. Their most recent track “Blood Eagle” is deservedly getting a ton of love from all over the place and just hit #1 on triple j’s Unearthed chart in the metal genre. The band are about to embark on a three date mini tour, as well as have the upcoming release of their debut album Circa ’94 planned for May 18th. It’s all happening for 生 Conform 死 and we couldn’t be more hyped.
Listen to more here – https://liveconformdie.bandcamp.com/
Their No Grave, No Burial album sparked a jaw-dropping response and was my first exposure to Statues. The concept album was as musically stunning as it was alarming, sharing the story about war-affected characters through the nine tracks. Fiery, heavy, and angular, Statues express ‘horrific’ well, coupling a strong searching vibe while hope seems rapidly lost like sand grains through fingers, and inevitable defeat breathes down your neck. The guys of Statues have impressively shown their investment in their subject matter beyond the album, by creating Sanctuary Vol 1. a compilation of music which supports Asylum Seeker Resource Centre as well as showcasing other local bands. Could we love them more?
Listen to Statues – https://statuesau.bandcamp.com/
Vacant Home do empassioned ache so well. Releasing Reflect, Respond last year, the band have followed it up with “Knife’s Edge” which released last month. This most recent release is a reminder of how good Vacant Home are as melodic hardcore story tellers, where chaos and loss are painfully yet beautifully expressed over the span of 3.5 minutes. Every part of the experience they share is echoed by subtle shifts in intensity and density. Back this band.
Vacant Home on Bandcamp – https://vacanthomeau.bandcamp.com/
Make Them Suffer
I’ve been lucky enough to see Make Them Suffer live a couple times now, and every time I do, I am mesmerised by this collective and the music they produce. Make Them Suffer can strike with a torrent of heaviness, paint vulnerable pictures with subdued spaciousness and delicate melodies on keys, and also brutally strike to the core with honest emotion in amongst the noise. Their most recent video “Save Yourself” (from their 2017 album Worlds Apart) is a showcase of the dynamic potential of the band, landing raw emotion like a blow to the chest while also cradled in melody. It’s well worth catching Make Them Suffer when they’re on tour in August, more details on that HERE.
Listen to Make Them Suffer on Spotify.
Having just released their debut full length album Coming and Going, Among Them seem to bring thought to their music, as well as it being plain awesome. Their single “Purpose” as one example, sees a low-fi home video perspective on hectic heaviness, with seemingly abstract goings-on, as well as the band members singing and playing instruments. And yet the track is lyrically poetic.
“A tree stood lonely upon a hill
Nothing could stop it, and nothing could change its will
You’ll see the power of solitude”
Behind the noise of Among Them’s wall-of-sound style, “Purpose” was described by the band thus: “Solitude forges strength as one relies solely on their own devices to overcome the pressures of life. However, it is easy to become lost in a self-perpetuating state of despair if one faces everything alone. Both self-reliance as well as companionship are equal parts of achieving success.” I’m instantly intrigued by how this band create, and Coming and Going is calling me back to it to review.
Listen to more Among Them – https://amongthemau.bandcamp.com/
We caught Daybreak as part of Alpha Wolf’s ‘Mono Australian Tour’ in February and were impressed by their strength as a band, the insane prowess of their drummer, and their notably massive breakdowns. Recent single “Repulse” is a showcase of Daybreak’s prowess which flips from ‘keep up if you can’, to crushing empty darkness. The track also features Polaris’ Jamie Hails in a vocal feature. Insanely good.
Check out Daybreak’s Death Dreams on Spotify.
Entropy describe themselves as ‘brutal groove’ and in checking out their EP Extinction, that seems to sum up their sound well: Dark vocals you can barely find under weighty fog, searing screams, riffage that shifts from ominous to hectic, elastic rhythms. Entropy challenges your stamina in keeping up with their ever-growing beast of sound that’s taking root in the dark corners others might avoid. “Erased” is the latest release from the band, with guest vocals from John Kelly (of Make Way For Man). The track is an eerie attempt to escape from what seeks to destroy you.
Listen to more Entropy – http://entropybandau.bandcamp.com
If you’ve liked any of these bands, share with your friends and get the word out about the musical talent that seems to be breeding like wildfire in Perth.
[Header image of Make Them Suffer by Rowan Donohue @ Unify Gathering 2018]