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Live Reviews : 4 DEAD, Whitehorse, Reverend Jesse Custer, Throat of Dirt – A Live Review

By on March 19, 2012

4 DEAD, Whitehorse, Reverend Jesse Custer, Throat of Dirt @ The Basement, 15/03/2012 

Everyone knows that shows never start on time ,so imagine my surprise when I stumbled into The Basement, a bar/venue that makes something resembling an effort to support Canberra’s music scene, to find that the first band, Throat of Dirt were well into their set. Throat of Dirt are a new Canberra based grindcore band, and it was hard to pass fair judgment on them as what I saw of their set was horribly mixed. Recognizing the bass player as the guitarist for Life and Limb, I expect great things, and should probably drag myself to one of their gigs where I can actually hear the music.

The next band to play was Canberra’s grindcore giants, The Reverend Jesse Custer. Having seen these axemen of madness multiple times before, I expected mayhem, and as usual, was not let down. Their set was furious, loud and intense, with their singer jumping over the barrier and letting out howls of madness, as the rather unresponsive crowd watched with interest. After lots of feedback and screaming, “The Rev” as they are known locally, ended their set, sweaty and battered, after having put on one damn entertaining show. Having seen both bands live, I think it is now fair to say that The Reverend Jesse Custer are Canberra’s answer to D.C grindcore legends Magrudergrind, and have join the ranks of the Capital City Grind elites.

Next up was Melbourne’s Whitehorse, a band that hadn’t played in Canberra for almost two years, and had finally returned to burst some eardrums and ruin everyone’s shit. The singer kindly reminded the audience that due to the barrier, he would be no threat to them, and with that Whitehorse crawled into their set: a half hour of feedback, detuned riffs and some rather awesome drumming. Their singer had a stage presence and appearance that suit the music, a slow moving, large, muscle-y and bearded man, screaming his head off and stomping around stage as the music proceeded at the pace of a funeral march towards its ultimate demise. Whitehorse’s set was extremely enjoyable, and extremely loud and I was certainly glad to have caught such a heavy band.

There was one more band to play before the end of the night: Canberra’s own merchants of destruction, 4 Dead. There are 3 simple rules to a 4 Dead set: It’s not a 4 Dead show unless the singer is bleeding, shirtless and has covered the audience in alcohol. The Madman at the helm of this band, Jon Christopher, fulfilled all the rules throughout a set of feedback, riffs and high energy musical annihilation. As the band keeping the rhythm and riffs pounding, Jon jumped from one end of the stage to the other, screaming his head off, flipping himself over the barrier, and reminding the whiny soundman that he had nothing to worry about, because as Jon himself put it, “I still have my pants on”.

The audience also clearly loved 4 Dead, and some people thought it was clearly time for kick flips and army flinging, i.e looking like dickheads. Their stupid but destructive form of dancing only added to the absolute chaos that is a 4 Dead set, and by the end of their loud, fast, and 100% insane set, everyone, including the band, was sweaty, bruised and fucking euphoric.  Jon keeps making noises about moving to America, so if you see a flyer in your town mentioning 4 Dead, don’t think twice. This is not a band you want to miss.

4DEAD setlist:
Departure 666
The Lost Fish Hook
Yeah, Whatever, I Was Gonna Off Myself On Tuesday, Anyways
The Blackened Hearts Club
Ports and Storms
Smoke Signals
The Merry Men
Birchwood Longboat


In between a busy schedule of studying, procrastination and sleeping Duncan sometimes writes album reviews. When not pretending to know things about music, he pretends to know things about the world over at Sudden Reason.