25 May 2018
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Gig Review: Slaves with Animal Party @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 17/08/2017

18 Aug 2017 // A review by butch181
The night opened with Auckland Alt-Rock act Animal Party. With a sound that could be described as a grungy take on punk rock, they powered through their vocal-centric set. Really could have done with a few more mics around the drum kit, as they sounded rather subdued during this act, despite the drummer visibly putting in a lot of work. With a curious style of performing with hands held behind his back, vocals were the stand out feature of Animal Party; the guitars, while solid, complimented the vocals rather than standing out on their own. Bassist and vocalist have the most experience in the group, switching roles mid-song and supporting each other to provide layers in such tracks as Goblin. Overall, they created a solid sound, with great rhythm, and an in-you-face rebellious vocal style that got a good response from the crowd so early in the night.

Second group up on stage was Brisbane rock group, Awaken I Am. The group feels more established than the opening band, but the music felt less mature. With a style that comes across more like post-hardcore, Awaken I Am show influences from such groups as Blindspott, Dead Letter Circus, the Amity Affliction, and Chevelle, Adam Douglas’ vocals were very high, in the falsetto range, and lacked depth to them; but the clean vocal component maintained a positive vibe that gelled well with the audience. The guitar-work was energetic and was matched by their performance as they used the space on stage to their advantage. An enjoyable performance, that gained great rhythm on the latter half of the set, but no real tracks that stood out as spectacular.

Headlining the show was Californian post-hardcore group, Slaves. As soon as they hit the stage, and utter the first words of My Soul Is Empty And Full Of White Girls, the tension and energy in the crowd was palpable. Slaves put forward a full-bodied sound, and for the first time in the night I could properly hear the drums with clarity. Vocals themselves didn’t quite have the volume necessary to break through the instrumentation, but were still on point despite vocalist Jonny Craig recovering from the flu. Slaves had a reasonably short set comprised on ten tracks (and an additional two encore tracks); a good mix between the previous two albums, and some new songs from upcoming album Beautiful Death. Performing live, the band come across heavier than the production quality of their studio albums would let on. The guitarists are equally talented, taking turns on lead riffs, and moving about the stage with ease; these are well seasoned musicians that bask in the adoration from the crowd. When the encore hit, with I’d Rather See Your Star Explode, the crowd went into overdrive, pushing towards the stage, singing along with Craig before breaking into a mosh pit when they finished on their lead single, The Fire Down Below. Jonny Craig has no doubt had his ups and downs in his musical history, with a number of firings and line-up changes; but ultimately, he is a brilliant performer and vocalist, who knows how to bring in an audience.

About Animal Party

Birthed in Aotearoa, Animal Party is a band of high energy and passion. Comprised of ex members from The Jury & the Saints and Lookin Up, they are no strangers to bringing the rock.

The band released their debut EP Drifting in April 2017 to rave reviews, the most notable from Muzic.net.nz where the band were described as having “a perfect mix of space and bombast which would fill any stadium”.

A tight and punchy wall of sound coupled with challenging lyrics and memorable hooks encapsulates this positive and powerful live act, leaving you feeling uplifted and exhausted in the best possible way.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Animal Party

Releases

Drifting
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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