GIG REVIEW: THE LOVE JUNKIES

The Loft | 6 February

Why is this kid walking behind the drumset? How are they executing musical precision not seen by artists under the age of 30? Needless to say, my mind was blowing in tiny explosions throughout The Love Junkies’ set at The Loft Chevron Island.

Hailing from Perth, these dudes have already worked up a reputation as one of the Top 5 up and coming bands from NME, scored sets at 2013 Perth Big Day out and Groovin’ The Moo, and supported British India, La Dispute, Band of Skulls, Papa vs Pretty, Birds of Tokyo and Kingswood. Hello Australia’s new rock lovechild.

Jumping into the high-energy garage rock track Heads Down, the boys cut the tempo in half for the bridge making for a head banging, riff screaming ascent to a hypo chorus complete with “la da da da”ing reminiscent of 50’s surf-rockers.

By the end of the second song, the drummer had to tighten his set and I had lost my hearing. Not even angry.

Baby, Come Home opens with a bluesy soul-groove sound that could have complimented Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack. Grungy noise followed by a minimal bridge and crooning that could have come out of Kurt Cobain’s mouth made for a Nirvana inspired rebellious track.

Hip popping opening of Chemical Motivation gave way to a bass led chorus, with lead Mitch McDonald turning up the vocals to a raspy yet upbeat lullaby (there’s three words not seen together before) with a band heavy scream out, drummer Lewis Walsh keeping solid timing all the way out.

We were given a spontaneous brief intermission due to noise restriction negotiations with the vendors downstairs. How these guys had enough breath left in their bodies left to sing is beyond me. Their pant-heavy interval was cut short as the crowd pleaded for them to continue. That’s showbiz boys.

The Loft’s infamous characters were there in full force; a man who I guess was in his 70’s was shredding the makeshift dance floor with Mick Jagger inspired moves while Mitch got sassy with the microphone during Television, expressions for days and bitter yet hilarious lyrics condemning ex-lovers.

Maybeline has been getting a lot of love across Triple J and it’s easy to see why. Packed with attitude, this jam starts off with brat-like harmonies and a simple yet hard-hitting hooks. The chorus has guttural and obnoxious vocals perfectly paired with guitar-induced noise that could easily become a tortured-teenage anthem.

The slapstick guitar intro and minimal percussion fooled me into thinking the next song was light on the sound. Wrong. Oxymoron turned into a garage-indie jam of finger-shredding hooks evocative of The Vines, with vocals as blatantly mutinous as Crag Nicholls.

To a fresh groupie’s request of “Play me a love song”, Mitch said “Alright, here’s a love song dedicated to my girlfriend back in Perth”.

Cue sombre faces.

This romantic shout out turned out to be the heaviest song of their set, with Blowing On bringing heavy scattered breakdowns lightened by soft crooning vocals. I wanted to get up and kick down the table and start air-guitaring but didn’t think I would match up to Gramps killing it on the d-floor.

Just having wrapped up their Aussie tour, The Love Junkies will be back on the road in March supporting Calling All Cars.

You can pre-order their EP Flight Test on thelovejunkiesmusic.com

Keiren Bond

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