Oposom, Bloods @ GoodGod, Sydney (16/5/2012)
Kody Nielson is poised over 2012, ready to steal it and make a trophy-belt out of its flesh, much in the same way his brother and fellow ex-Mint Chick Ruban did in 2011 with Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Kody, with assembled marsupial companions Michael Logie (also an ex Mint Chick) on bass and Kody’s partner Bic Runga on vocals/synth, took to the GoodGod stage to share the unfamiliar, but highly anticipated material from upcoming debut – Electric Hawaii.
But first – supports! I reviewed Bloods a short while ago at DZ Deathrays’ OAF show, and i don’t wanna be a downer but I’m afraid not much has changed. They’re not bad, but they’re not great either – they’re in that bottomless-pit category of forgettably competent. Their new single Goodnight sums it – tight drums, sunny riff, simple lyrics, amateur garage-chic, it’s all there, cool, but there’s just something fundamental missing.
Kill City Creeps, important questions – does the name imply they are creeps from Kill City or are they urging us to creeps from the city? These questions aside, KCC were quite enjoyable with their ‘60s organ-rock, bitey Stooges guitar, and undisguised Australian vocals giving them a sound almost like early Guru’s. Frontman Daniel Darling held himself with a knobbish, ‘rock-star’ coolness, but it could just be a part of the act – and while it’s annoying now, it’d be applauded if they make it big. The single I Got A Letter was a clear standout of their set.
A packed room (doesn’t take much at GoodGod though) bubbled and wooed at the sight of Oposom. Opening with their frazzled choppy-trop-pop, it was evident already of the pros and cons of the night: PROS – collective excitement over watching what looks like one of the years most exciting albums unfold in front of you. CONS – a morgue stiff crowd.
Second song Outer Space was a bit of a dud and sounded like a sad and slow merry-go-round that a clown gets murdered on. Kody moved to drums for the rest of the show, possible explaining Outer Space’s early appearance, and then the atoms stated colliding.
Bic had a knowing grin when she introduced Getaway Tonight, and with good reason – the song’s sublime: it’s a raucous, carnival melody plastered on a mentally-unstable beat, soon to be on a party-playlist near you. It even got some of the dance-shy crowds’ shoulders moving. Rather than spacing the familiarity out, Oposom winded us with a second single, Blue Meanies. It’s the prefect showcase of Kody Nielson’s penchant for crafting songs both irresistible and delectably unique. It’s a crying shame the GoodGod sound system couldn’t handle its grandeur. For a better listen- check out the Sam Kristofski directed video – a contender for year’s best.
When closing Girl, all eyes were on Nielson as he commands this bizarre, but intensely entertaining multiple-drum conclusions. They would succinctly all finish with this churning punch, pause, and then do it again, and again. They did it the perfect amount of times between unsuspecting and comical. A few hiccups at the start of Cola Elixir reminded us of the tracks’ freshness, but once moving it grew pretty impressive, snapping back and forth between this punky-chorus chant, to melted ‘70s rock, before combining them and pressing fast-forward.
Closing with Fly it was clear that Oposom have mastered a perfect balance of experimentation and pop hooks. Like Girl, Fly was peppered with unconventional pauses that tempted audiences into unwarranted applause- multiple times. By the end of it, our sheepish cheers grew more genuine as we realised they were heading off the stage.
Like the Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson has created something playful, adventurous and brimming with flare, attitude and mirth-explosions. Expect big things, possum magic.