My Disco, Slug Guts, Absolute Boys @ The Zoo, Brisbane (27/11/2010)
Sydney based group Absolute Boys aren’t entirely unlike tonight’s headline act. The similarities are obvious; three men with only guitar, bass and drums, playing minimalist and bass-heavy music which proves to be problematic when shoehorning them into one particular genre. Their music is built around repetition and precise drum arrangements, which in practice produces oddly danceable and catchy music. Absolute Boys play a short, yet extremely enjoyable set. After an abrupt cancellation from their set at Deadshits only weeks ago, it is good to see them back in Brisbane. They clearly are taking a page out of My Disco’s book, but take it to produce their own quieter, and more sombre beast.
A band needs to take an intermission slot between the smorgasbord of minimalism that will be heard tonight. Who better to fill that void than local heroes Slug Guts? Taking to the stage in their usual black attire, they begin their barrage of sludge pop, with the hiss of feedback behind them. Behind all the noise and barely decipherable vocals are clear melodic hooks. Not even thinking to stop between songs, Slug Guts’ set becomes a bombardment of noise, making it increasing difficult to tell some songs apart from each other. The whole set is so wildly enjoyably and effortless on the band’s part that it doesn’t even matter.
The crowd swarms as My Disco take the stage. Without any fervour, the group begins the opening chord to Closer, the opening track on their latest album Little Joy. It is a typical My Disco song; completely minimalist in structure, built around repetition and an absolutely intense experience. As the song approaches the climax, the song continues to build and build. The intensity grows. It is impossible to know when My Disco will release, or whether it will build to greater heights. It continues. And continues. And then eventually, they bring it to a close.
This is just roughly five minutes of what proves to be a brilliant and utterly mesmerising set by the group. Listening to Little Joy, while fantastic, at times feel like a placeholder for what is heard in a live setting. This set is comprised totally of tracks from Little Joy, making the experience well and truly a celebration of their latest album. Most people know what to expect from My Disco; at first, the repetition of guitar and bass chords, drums patterns and vocals which Liam Andrews hauntingly echoes through tracks seem like a chore. Upon hearing, it is an utterly bewildering experience.
The minimalist reverberations from My Disco truly have to be heard live to fully understood. Yet, given how long they have been around, most people would already understand this. This was just another fantastic set from the always reliable group; one designed to show after three albums, they are still going incredibly strong.