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Live Reviews : DEAD, Cyberne (JAP) and The Reverend Jesse Custer cause some mayhem

By on November 24, 2011

12/11/11 – McCawley  House, Canberra

The first rule of a house show: It’s not a house show unless it starts an hour late. Despite showing up at what, according to normal people, would be a good 40 minutes late, I found that not even the first band had started playing. This gave me time to enjoy the summer evening, and ponder the oddity of a backpack with a manufactured anarchy symbol on it. The world is a strange place, but, as the events of the evening would show, it could also be very, very awesome.

First to take the “stage”, or more appropriately the floor, were Canberra’s local grindcore masters, The Reverend Jesse Custer. Having just released their debut EP, the band tore through song after song of intense minute long fury, with the occasional sludge riff through in for a change of pace and good measure.  The whole band locked themselves into a tight groove for the entire set, and got a decidedly warm reception from the audience. Playing for a good twenty minutes, their set was highly enjoyable and very energetic, a sign of the madness soon to follow.

Before I continue, I should explain something about Canberra and moshing. People in Canberra don’t mosh. A good show means a circle of people standing around nodding their head to your music. However, for Japan’s own Cyberne it was a mosh pit galore with about two thirds of the audience that were squeezed into a tiny room going nuts over some of the most ridiculous music I’ve ever heard.  For a reason that wasn’t obvious at the volumes Cyberne rocked out at, they placed a megaphone with a microphone taped to it in front of one of their amps, which looked just a little strange. Then again Cyberne play some of the strangest and most intense music ever to grace the face of the earth.  They tore through song after song, pulling off rhythmic twists and turns, as the audience threw themselves recklessly around the room; musical and visual violence manifesting itself before my very eyes. Cyberne took a moment between each song to talk about how grateful they were to play in Australia, how good the tour had been and how DEAD are the best fucking band in the world.  As Cyberne finished up what was their “last” song, the whole crowd screamed and demanded that they play one more song, just one more song. Cyberne were happy to oblige, and tore into their final song, as the audience gave it one last mosh.

The final band of the night, Melbourne’s DEAD, took stage and unleashed their rhythmic section fury. Bassist and vocalist Jace showed why he is a strong independent bassist that don’t need no six stringer getting in his way, as DEAD tore through song after song of bass driven insanity. Some of the bass riffs being laid down were mind boggling and the drummer kept things tight and in a steady groove. The crowd’s response to this was to continue to defy Canberra convention and tear down the walls, with the singer from the Reverend Jesse Custer joining the moshpit through a window. Bodies and beer flew across the room, roughly in time to the music and as DEAD’s set came to close, the now slightly drunk audience once again insisted on an encore, as DEAD ripped into a cover of The Strangler’s “Shut Up”, bringing the night to a fast paced, aggressive close.

All bands played with energy and enthusiasm, and the show definitely seemed like a high note to end the tour on.  Cyberne and DEAD seem to have brought out the best in Canberra’s musically tuned audience, and the night of chaos, mayhem and awesome music was definitely one of the better shows I’ve been to in the capital city.

DEAD’s Setlist:

Prick Rodeo
Bed Bugs
Scratching My Arts
The Cat Who Breathed Colours
New song
You Just Lost My Appetite
Shut Up (Stranglers cover)


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.