Live Review: J Mascis + Adalita | Soundlounge | 20 February 2015

Touring in support of his latest album Tied to a Star the ever-silver J Mascis hit the Currumbin Soundlounge with the more than able support of aussie rock succubus Adalita Srsen.

Having well and truly emerged from the rock shadow cast by her former band, Adalita showcased selected songs from her two solo albums 2011’s Adalita and 2013’s All Day Venus. To my chagrin, I was somewhat unfamiliar with her solo work but was instantly engaged by Adalita’s stage presence (i.e. leather mini-skirt and cracker set of pins) relaxed powerful vocals and magically dirty guitar playing (see what I did there with the magic dirt reference).

The lack of any backing band was easily forgotten amongst the auditory barrage she unleashed with her use of loops, delay, feedback and some other too-technical-for-me effects.

She held the audience tightly, the quieter moments in many songs seemed purely designed to draw the listener in nice and close for a reassuring cuddle only so she could then easily stab you in the guts with a distorted prison shank of a guitar riff and leave you to bleed out for the rest of the song.

A “not too arty” feedback session was a great way to finish a great set and a more than suitable entrée to the main course.

After a nice cup of tea and quick lie down I regathered my thoughts for the headline act, J Mascis.

I will admit I am an unashamed J Mascis fan and my opinion of him as one of the most powerful, inventive and under-rated guitar players ever was suitably validated by his kick ass set. An unassuming (borderline reclusive) on stage demeanour is almost comically juxtaposed by the sheer ferociousness of the sound he is able to exorcise from his acoustic guitar.

His technical prowess was on full display as he “juiced up” tracks form his two latest solo albums from their somewhat quiet origins to give all in the room exactly what they were there for, some simply shit hot guitar playing.

Newer tracks Listen to Me and Every Morning were particular high points while a couple of enthusiastically received Dinosaur Jr classics were given new life with a bit of “solo J” treatment including (my personal gig favourite) a ballistic version of Get Me from 1993 Album Where you Been.

His extended guitar solos were a sonic Doc Marten boot holding your head under the water to the point of passing out before letting the pressure off, allowing you to take one short breath then plunging you face first down in to the toilet bowl again. Just the kind of bully we need in this world

Another great show at a great venue!!

I left with a renewed crush on both performers and an unshakeable urge to dye my hair grey, Go Figure??

Iain

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