The Devil Rides Out @ The Rosemount Hotel, Perth (31/03/11)

If you had attended the Rosemount on Thursday night you would have witnessed a peculiar spectacle. The Rosemount, divided into two areas, had become a duality. Outside the venue was all in the norm, despite a somewhat misguided DJ in a white cocktail suit naively dancing to his music while pub goers attempted to drown out the music with copious amounts of alcohol. (Whether this was a conscious machination of the Rosemount or not is debateable.) Entering inside however was to enter the mouth of the leviathan. Walking down the stairs into the belly of the beast you entered a bedimmed room where fiendish looking music fans sat, waiting for the bands to start.

Heralding the end of a four month hiatus The Devil Rides Out decided to revivify the primeval art of rock music in this setting. Alongside the macabre musical maniacs the Chainsaw Hookers and psychobilly rockers Blazin’ Entrails.

Blazin’ Entrails started the night off with energetic songs that went from swinging rockabilly to dirtier, more punk-influenced psychobilly. Managing a respectable audience considering their position in the night’s line-up, the cheeky threesome provided some fast paced, light-hearted entertainment to kick off the night.

The Chainsaw Hookers were the next band to take the stage. As the name suggests the Chainsaw Hookers weren’t there to play feel-good indie pop. The recently formed cadre calls their style “blood rock” and for no small wonder, the band only plays two tempos: fast and blistering. They were a little bit punk, a little bit metal and a whole lot of rock. If you closed your eyes for a few moments and were sufficiently inebriated by beer you could almost imagine a slightly grittier sounding Lemme onstage singing along with the band.

When the Chainsaw boys departed there was a small opportunity to assess proceedings. While the crowd was animated and engaged the overshadowing problem plaguing the gig was simply numbers. They just didn’t have enough to fill out a venue like the Rosemount sufficiently.

With a few more drinks consumed the night’s headliners walked onstage with front man and Josh Homme look-a-like Joey K coming on stage donning a sardonically worn Justin Bieber shirt, though few punters seemed to recognise it. Performing their sound check to the heavy-handed abuse of an apparently familiar sound technician, the band took their time to fiddle about and get ready.

It was at this point when the band started playing that they thought it wise to highlight one of the advantages of playing a venue with superior acoustical properties such as the Rosemount. The advantage being that bands can have their speakers turned up to a level that makes your ears bleed and your pancreas implode. Playing so loud that they were able to drown out the DJ performing outside, the band threw themselves into their brand of straight up, no-frills, hard rock.

All up it was a good performance. The problem was simply that the Rosemount wasn’t filled up as much as it should have been. A larger crowd would have lended a marked vivacity to proceedings, however each band made it their mission to play their hearts out despite the size of the event and the night, while not amazing, was very respectable.