Snakadaktal, SURES, Palindromes @ The Hi-Fi (10/08/12)

Despite the fact that The Hi Fi’s doors had only been opened for half an hour, there was already a healthy crowd number present within, possibly in keen anticipation of the night’s events or more probably to escape the especially cold wind ripping through Brisbane at the current time.

Palindromes commence proceedings right on schedule with a well-delivered and efficient set. The four piece play out a solid 30 minutes of mature and well-crafted synth-pop full of spacey keyboards and lush vocals that draw the crowds attention early. The lead singer’s voice was a touch within the safe side and as a result their sound never reached any staggering heights or filled the dance floor, but definitely set a certain quality to the evening’s style.

Up next is Sydney’s SURES and while despite that lead-singer/guitarist Jonas Nicholls looks like he just got out of bed, they deliver some unexpected turns amongst their lo-fi, surf brand of indie rock. First of all, his vocal ability is remarkably impressive for their style, ranging from soaring cries to a deadpan deliverance at times. The music as well, containing sharp riffs and bright, cutting tones, pulls off some unusual variations in rhythm structures which constantly keeps the audience on alert as to what will come next. All in all, they show why they deserve their spot on the tour and in the eyes of this reviewer, definitely give the headliners a run for their money.

Speaking of headliners, Snakadaktal soon make a ghostly appearance to a now well and truly full venue. It hasn’t even been a year since the Melbourne five-piece won the celebrated title of Triple J’s Unearthed High winners, but thanks to regular airplay, a slot within the Hottest 100 and touring on the back of a new single, the young band have gathered a national following that is clearly evident tonight.

However, the nature and dedication of their followers is questionable. Much of the audience are easily distracted throughout the set, constantly chattering and taking photos (of themselves, not the band), which gives of the impression that they are there simply for the sake of being there and because Snakadaktal are Triple J’s latest new toy. Of course this isn’t the band’s fault; they didn’t choose to be popular or tell people it’s ‘cool’ to like them, but their inexperience still shines through tonight.

Make no mistake, Snakadaktal are without question a talented band showing maturity beyond their years with chiming Foals like guitar melodies and The xx style spaciousness all delicately wrapped around the suburb twin vocal pairings of Sean Kelly and Phoebe Cockburn. Songs such as Air and Boy display this best with both performances sparking the audience’s attention for brief moments as the lush vocals float in and out of bubbling synth passages. Much of their material is too spaced out for dancing but not enough so that it captivates the audience on a sonic level – leaving them on a bit of an awkward middle ground that they haven’t quite translated to the live stage yet. As a result, the audience becomes bored and restless, only lifting for the final one-two punch of Chimera and Dance Bear, which leave the crowd well and truly pleased.

Everyone departs looking happy and satisfied, but it’s hard to believe the authenticity of most. Snakadaktal are far too talented to be leaving our ears anytime soon, but it begs the question of how long they can stay relevant for. But then again, somehow people are still paying attention to Wolfmother so it’s safe to say that Snakadaktal should be all right.