15 Dec 2018
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Gig Review: You're The Future Of Music @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland

29 Oct 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

One never knows what to expect from a Wednesday night at a live music venue, but Anthology Lounge has been hosting a series of affordable musical experiences under the name You’re The Future Of Music. Previously focusing on singer-songwriters, Wednesday the 24th was their first night including bands in the series. While the crowd was initially minimal, by the time the first band headed to the stage, there was a rather impressive number of people in the venue, eager to enjoy the nights festivities.

The opening act came in the form of Auckland five-piece Bhios. The strikingly dissonant sound came as a surprise, combining a plethora of genres and tones, coming across somewhat like a hybrid of lounge and post-rock. A very well-dressed band, they were all smartly dressed in full suits, with the exception of vocalist Emily-Jane who had an eye-popping red shirt, cut short.

Blending ambient soundscapes with soulful vocals and intricate guitar riffs. Guitarists Michael and Richard both take turns in the lead roles, and it speaks volumes of the bands’ overall talent. The sound was so difficult to quantify and categorize, but there was an exceptional amount of emotion that came through their sound, and great energy that shone through in their performance (especially Tom on the drums, who was measured and commanding, yet elaborate on the kit).

There is a thickness to Emily-Jane’s vocal style, with a slight grain that creates a rich, seductive melody. It impressed me enough that I bought their EP from their Bandcamp, mid-performance.

The middle act for the evening came in the form of She Loves You. This four-piece are one of the more better-known up-and-coming rock acts that are becoming staples of the local live scene. Jumping straight in with some heavy riffs and powerful vocals, they made full use of the tiny stage. Their set started off very strong, but the leveling of Madeline’s vocals was rather inconsistent, between her powerful projected voice and her speaking tones, which led to the lyrics often getting drowned out by the music.

But the physical performance side of their set was on point. It is great to see Katie back from her break from the band and she absolutely dominated the stage with her ferocity; almost thought she was going to break the snare at one point. The chemistry on stage is palpable, and you can tell that they are all at ease performing in front of a crowd. Smiles and laughs all around, there was plenty of banter, and Madeline and Jessie fed off of each other’s energy. Did feel like there was a lot more fuzz to their guitar sound than in previous performances, but an energetic set nonetheless, that displayed the second awe-inspiring drummer of the night.

The final act for the evening came from three-piece Average Mars Experience. The instrumental, experimental trio are heavily influenced by the rock and metal genres. With a guitar, bass and drums, there is a definite post-rock vibe, yet each song has such a clear influence. With Tom playing chords on his bass, with more effect pedals than Noema has for his lead guitar, their opening track had a very Tool Sober vibe, almost as if it was combined some aspects of traditional Hindu music.

Playing chords on the bass worked well to create a full-bodied sound during the guitar solos which Noema pulled off with ease. While each track was inexorably original, there were such strong similarities in style to pre-existing artists, with Neptune having a vibe that conjures memories of listening to Bullet For My Valentine’s Scream Aim Fire album as a teenager, and other tracks having almost a Kora feel to them.

A well-balanced sound, that makes use of many effects to create a wide variety of tones considering the group have only the three instruments. No doubt that they are all talented musicians, but it is very noticeable that vocals are missing (by that I mean it the tracks still feel like something is missing to complete the sound). Their Tool influences came to the forefront as they closed off their set with a cover of The Pot, in its entirety.

A great night, providing three tight bands for a very cheap ticket price. The You’re The Future Of Music series is one that is well worth keeping an eye out for.


Photo Credit: Ginelle Cocks/Ginny C Photography

 

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