Gig Review: Full Scale Revolution + Sydonia + DevilMonkey

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Full Scale Revolution + Sydonia + DevilMonkey
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
13 February 2016
Review by Rod Whitfield

Full Scale Revolution are BACK, baby! This may go down as one of those ‘I was there!’ type of gigs. But more on the reason why in just a tic, there was two rather excellent support bands on as well.

DevilMonkey slam out a kind of bizarre but still most enjoyable electro-rock hybrid, all whilst dressed in strange white plastic jumpsuits. It made them look more like they were working with nuclear waste than playing a rock n roll show, and coloured face paint. Only the frontman was relatively normally dressed.

They have an interesting sound, alternately atmospheric, grooving and hard hitting, with rough and ready vocals, a combination of electronic and acoustic drums and a very ‘left of centre’ stage presence. You have to hand it to a band who are going way out on a limb and trying something very different, both with their music and their live show.

For probably close to ten years, I was a very regular attendee at Sydonia’s shows, but for some reasons the planets hadn’t aligned for quite some time for me to see them. So I was over the moon to find out that they were on this awesome bill.

These guys have been around for a long time, and have just about seen and done it all in rock ‘n’ roll. They recently had a change of guitarist, which is the only line-up change I’ve known them to have in their history. But this gig proved that they have absolutely lost none of their fire. Their music, which I have described as ‘brutal but beautiful’ in the past, lends itself magnificently to the live arena.

On this night they smashed out a short, sharp, typically exhilarating 35-minute set, with an excellent set list of old, newer and brand new material (and it’s fantastic to see them still constantly creating) The capacity crowd rewarded them with a massive response. Their bombastic percussive interludes are always a joy to behold too.

The crowd was now absolutely primed for the return of Full Scale Revolution. This band signed to Sony Music well over a decade ago and moved to the U.S. to pursue their career. They were on the brink of stardom when band and record company politics got in the way, and they were forced to cut short a potentially burgeoning career. So very sad when this happens.

Many years and much water under the proverbial bridge later and they have reunited. And if this gig is anything to go by, that is a wonderful thing. This was probably the wildest gig I have been to for a long time. The sweaty, sold out crowd were absolutely climbing the walls.

They were incited to such exuberance by the blistering, funk-driven rock music of the band, which, with new rhythm section in tow, absolutely locked in and nailed it to the wall. And by the over the top, ‘call to arms’ antics of the force of nature that is frontman Ezekiel Ox. Why this guy isn’t a world famous rock n roll star, taking his message, which he delivers with a stylish sledgehammer, to the whole world, I do not know. God forbid if he does become a household name, he will rise up and smash the state by himself.

He spends almost as much time out in the crowd, mixing it with the people. But he’s not just a crazy frontman either, he can rap, he can scream and he can really sing when he wants to. I actually wish he would do more melodic singing.

The whole band was tight, gnarly as all hell and sent the crowd into a stage diving, crowd surfing frenzy.

Towards the end of their pulsating 70-minute set, Ox announced that the band were back in a big way, that this tour wasn’t just a one-off bunch of reunion shows, and that a new album is on the way. This is excellent news, for the band, their still many fans around the country and around the world, and for the Aussie rock scene in general. Let’s hope that record company bullshit doesn’t f*ck them over again.

All up, this was one electrifying show, and may mark a point in history that said ‘Full Scale are BACK!’

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