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Jack The Stripper + Supports, Adelaide, 25 June 2016

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Jack The Stripper + A Ghost Orchestra + Life Pilot + Dead Ties
Enigma Bar, Adelaide
25 June 2016
Review by Will Oakeshott
Photo by Dylan North

The competition was tough on this frosty evening in Adelaide, only minutes away from this prominent venue, a heroic local hardcore act was playing their final show for quite some time. Sadly, the opposition for attracting observers only intensified with prominent venues The Gov and Thebarton Theatre also hosting iconic bands. Understandably this resulted in lower numbers in attendance for this send-off of sorts for the headliner; but sometimes as the saying goes: “Good things come in small packages.”

Adelaide’s Dead Ties were invited to open the event and displayed their brand of emotional hardcore with impressive gusto, considering just a dozen people watching the quintet. Combining the influences of earlier Verse, Defeater, Pianos Become The Teeth and even a slight trace of Touché Amoré, it isn’t breaking new grounds by any means, but the five-piece execute the sound with formidable skill. If there was an aspect to fault, it would be the rather polite stage presence Dead Ties uphold; hardcore is meant to be brash, aggressive and involved, which was not the case for the band who played within their own barriers self-consciously. Nevertheless, the new single I Am, is full of promise for the young outfit.

An injection of intensity was more than necessary at this point and thankfully one of Adelaide’s best chaos-creators in noise metal five-piece Life Pilot were happy to oblige. Born Of A Jackal acted as the slingshot to launch the quintet into insanity, but with an extra hint of experimentation added, the whole endeavour became much more alluring. A new song How Sad, combined every influence Life Pilot have into a nice crazed package including touches of: Norma Jean, Every Time I Die, The Chariot and even earlier Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, showcasing an expansion from the group’s earlier sound. Raw-Hide, Four Out Of Five Ain’t Five, Eye Of The Juggernaut, Lighten Up Francis, Liars and By The Book rounded out the performance. However, if there was a highlight it was with drummer Eli Green exiting the stage with part of his drum-kit to perform in the middle of the mosh-pit with one of his percussion students during the production. In a word, this was certainly ‘astounding’.

Recent Heavy Mag OZ Underground exposé quartet A Ghost Orchestra had the main support role offered to them for this event and the four-piece were not going to waste the opportunity. Frontman Adam Geisler donned a balaclava and forced his presence onto the eager crowd, whilst the remainder of the A Ghost Orchestra army turned the stage into their playground. Having just completed the recording of their debut album, the noise-core outfit were utilising this platform to road test the newer tracks in their arsenal; in short these latest tracks are the heaviest the band have sounded and it is superb. Single Queenhell was vicious in a live setting but the admirers needed provoking to really escalate the vehemence of the show; this is where the songs from the quartet’s EP Vile Hymns become a necessary thrill.

The only interstate travellers on the bill, Melbourne’s math-metal titans Jack The Stripper had plenty to smile about even with the competition elsewhere this evening. Firstly, the release and worldwide regard for the quintet’s new awesomely hideous film-clip for the single, Nibiru. Secondly, another headline jaunt around our fine nation with some of their best friends in tow in each city, but finally and most importantly the quintet are weeks away from an overseas venture including supporting Parkway Drive.

Unsurprisingly the quintet came out firing, with the stage gymnastics of The Dillinger Escape Plan but with the audio impression of The Black Dahlia Murder. The severity and ferociousness displayed were threatening but on an incredible dimension. Vocalist Luke Frizon was beyond unbridled in his presence, pushing his vocal prowess to diabolical levels while maintaining a near death stare to his devotees and most frightening of all, striking his head with the microphone with such ferocity that blood was practically craved by the frontman. The rest of Jack The Stripper were technically elite but also crazed in their acrobatics onstage and it became blatantly obvious that this is a band of international standard. Tracks from their record Raw Nerve received the most attention, but hopefully soon LP number two will be available to the world, as the time for Jack The Stripper to strike is now. On that note, this writer must admit, they are valiantly doing so.

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