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Live Reviews : Drown this City, Earth Caller, Anticline @ Colonial Hotel, Melbourne 19/7/2019

By on July 21, 2019

Anticline are a young band with an interesting approach, in that they fuse an angry punk aesthetic into their modern metalcore/post hardcore sound, and this sets them apart from the cookie cutter crew. The band have that ‘on the verge of descending into complete chaos but just managing to hold it together’ vibe to them, and this gives a real sense of tension to their 30-minute opening set. The rough, ragged but still in-key vocals on top only add to that on-edge feel, and the overall effect is that of a young, angry, hungry band loving being on stage, playing in front of a solid throng of young punters.

And speaking of being in your element on stage, it is like Earth Caller’s Josh Collard was born to perform. His extroverted, over the top performance is quite something to behold, as he prowls the stage, hollers his lungs up and generally attacks his frontman’s role with simultaneously angry but good-natured aggression. He really does hold the crowd in his hand. Behind him, the band behind him are quite skilled. In fact, Earth Caller’s set runs quite a gamut, the musical palette is surprisingly broad, within a metalcore context. The songs have elements of hip hop, thrash, industrial and punk, fist-pumping anthemic moments and more, and Collard’s vocals seamlessly ride each stylistic wave.

Melbourne’s fast-rising Drown this City recently released their superb Alpha//Survivor EP, and this is the first show they have done in support of it. The EP sounds incredible, and is a stunning next step in their burgeoning musical and creative evolution, but of course, the question always remains, can they back the pristine recording up in a live setting? Their 40 minute headline set this night howls a truly resounding ‘YES!’

What leaps out most of all is the vocals of frontperson Alex Reade. Her vocal histrionics on the EP are alternatively soaring and throat-ripping, and live, where they could lack a little without the studio polish, they actually lift another gear. Just with a touch of that very welcome live rawness. And now that her vocals are juxtaposed with the dirty howls of bassist Matthew Bean, their set becomes an intense, in your face vocal tour de force.

Let’s not forget the rest of the band either. This band has become a glistening, bristling machine, the guitars roaring, the drums thundering and with just a touch of electronica to add spice and gleam. They are water-tight and well drilled, but play with passion at the same time, never sounding mechanical or forced. And it’s all delivered with maximum impact and intensity.

Their show even features a mid-set shoey beer scull!

Tonight is three brief but blistering sets from three highly promising young Aussie heavy acts, acts you need to be keeping a close eye on.

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.