Gig/Concert: Kill Devil Hills w/ Mongrel Country and These Shipwrecks
Venue: Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, Western Australia
Date: 17 July, 2009
Headliners: Kill Devil Hills
In one word: Hairy
What better way to spend a cold, rainy Friday night than heading down to the best crappy bar in town and see some dirty, countrified rock’n’roll? My hopes were high for a good night and for the most part that’s what I got, with one glaring exception.
After taking nearly an hour to set up and demand increasing amounts of everything in their foldback, opening act These Shipwrecks meandered their way through song after song of tedious, electric-cello based noise-art/post-rock. I feel they may have suffered from poor choice of bands to bill themselves with, but this wasn’t even good post-rock. Music to sit on the floor to at its most obvious, and the only thing longer than their plodding, go nowhere songs was the time spent tuning, twiddling, and complaining between tracks. Avoid this band where possible.
Next up where Mongrel Country, who I was surprised to learn feature two drummers (and a total of 3 snare drums). This worried me at first, but I’m glad to say it actually worked very well for them, with both drummers staying in time and solid throughout. Obviously, this meant that their songs were very percussion based, and the marching-band snare sound achieved was a prominent feature of the set, but never got overpowering. Their songs mainly consisted of subdued verses and raucous choruses utilizing the Dylan-esque vocals of guitarist Dean Anthonisz coupled with those from guitarist Max Ducker, whose voice reminded me of Tim Rogers from You Am I. Skin of the Rhino was a standout track in a solid, wake-up call of a set.
“With more hair than a barber-shop floor and their rocking, outlaw sounds, the Kill Devil Hills are a spectacle not to be missed”
After a thankfully brief change-over it was time for country-rock-swampers The Kill Devil Hills to take the stage. With more hair than a barber-shop floor and their rocking, outlaw sounds, the Kill Devil Hills are a spectacle not to be missed. Sharing vocal duties between guitarists Brendon Humphries and Steve Joines and drummer Steve Gibson (who, in a double blind test of vocal prowess could be confused for John Fogerty) their songs about booze, bad women, bad towns and livestock are impossible not to enjoy. The band is filled out by crazy-eyed fiddle/harp/guitar/everything player Alex Archer and bassist Ryan Dux, whose playing is a standout feature of so many prominent Perth bands it’s getting hard to keep track – though his young and clean-cut appearance does look a little out of place with the rest of the Devils. Standout tracks included “Cockfighter”from their upcoming album Man You Should Explode, “Drinkin’ Too Much” which brought the best from Gibson’s voice, and sing-along favourite “Gunslinger”.
I can’t recommend the Kill Devil Hills live show enough, and applaud them for bringing something unique and genuine to the local scene.
© Steve Pass
Hungry and Down
Easy When You Don’t Know How
Drinkin’ Too Much
No Sole or Bones
Words From Robin to Batman
Wonder if She’s Thinking of Me
Did I Damage You?