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La Dispute

La Dispute Photo by Rachael Barrett

La Dispute Photo by Rachael Barrett

The Love Junkies/Balance And Composure

The Rosemount Hotel

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Love Junkies have been keeping busy bursting eardrums with their loud garage rock, recently playing a string of shows in Singapore, and are now preparing to head off on a national tour. The Perth trio furiously smashed out an impressive half hour set that left those purely there for the headliner in awe. Closing the set with Blowing On The Devil’s Strumpet, Mitch McDonald flexed his vocal muscles with the track’s raw and grating sound, screaming “She sucked the life blood outta me” over and over. Wherever this ear-splitting band is heading, it’s going to be big.

Few bands can convey the clusterfuck of emotions surrounding relationships better than Balance And Composure. Their songs perfectly sum up those imperfect times of disappointment, hurt and vulnerability. The Pennsylvanian band took the stage of The Rosemount and launched into Reflections off their latest LP, The Things We Think We’re Missing. Not straying from the last two albums, they soared through their set, showing they do both soft and feisty, unforgiving anger. Jon Simmons’  smooth yet bitter voice is so perfectly matched with their rhythmic, melodic guitar solos and booming percussion. Parachute concluded the set, leaving punters quaking in their shoes.

After an incredible gig like Saturday night’s, you really want to be able to write some grand, sweeping statement that will do it a little justice, but you can’t. La Dispute’s performance was simply unforgettable. By the time it was finally time for the quintet the audience was voracious. Lead singer Jordan Dreyer tore into Hudsonville, MI 1956, thrashing around the stage with a tambourine. The band’s lyrics draw inspiration from collected stories and events, a prime example being the song King Park, which is about the story of a drive-by shooting in their home town of Grand Rapids. The post-hardcore band combines spoken word style lyrics that alternate between throaty screams and singing with their melodic droning guitar and distortion.

Dreyer’s versatile voice commanded the crowd through songs off Wildlife and the latest LP, Rooms Of A House, until they changed the tone by playing a more nostalgic tune, Andria. They closed their set with Woman Reading only to be demanded back onto stage for an encore, where they played Nine and fan favourite King Park. The intensity rose and fell until the end where Dreyer completely destroyed the crowd with the blood curdling delivery of the final lyrics “Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?/Can I ever be forgiven cause I killed that kid?/It was an accident I swear it wasn’t meant for him!/And if I turn it on me, if I even it out, can I still get in or will they send me to hell?/I left the hotel behind, don’t want to know how it ends.”

RACHAEL BARRETT

 

 

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