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Gig Review: Tropical F*ck Storm The Corner Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne – Saturday 23 March

 
2018 was a huge year for TFS, releasing a handful of limited edition 7”s, debuting their album ‘A Laughing Death in Meatspace’, selling out a national tour, a number of radio feature albums and a US tour that saw them opening for the likes of Modest Mouse and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. 2019 is in full swing and tonight TFS are playing The Corner.

U-Bahn & New War open tonight, two very different bands, but somehow have continuity with each other.

New War have been described as ‘a fever blur of R&D – rhythm and detonation – open bordered punk, fevered lurching dub, pop as sharp as Northern 80/90’s and as loose as Hansa-era Iggy.’ This was true of their smouldering set. Chris P paces the stage, manipulating his vocals through effects, swallowed by fuzz bass and keyboard noise, held together by freight train drums. The gig has warmed up well.

The vaguely kitsch drapes of the sold-out Corner Hotel part…

These are only my impressions
All of which are false
The day you’ve got nothing to say’s
The day I check your pulse

Gareth Liddiard’s familiar sneer commands attention as TFS launch into ‘Chameleon Paint’, the first single released from their debut album.

Punters are fully on board, singing all the words (which I find impressive) as TFS are a relatively new band. Liddiard & Fiona Kitschin (bass & vocals) are well known from their other collaboration: art-punk psych band, The Drones, from which they’re taking a hiatus.

Liddiard’s distinctive guitar style is powerful and grinding, coupled with Erica Dunn’s (guitar, keyboard & vocal) equally distinctive guitar style of strangle and twist sounds, bringing an apocalyptic cacophony of noise.

The whole band throws their entire bodies into each song, becoming an extension of their instruments, continually convulsing with the music.

TFS move with ferocity, power and conviction through ‘Antimatter Animals’, ‘Soft Power’ and ‘You Let My Tyres Down’ – all lifted from the current album.

Continuing on with ‘The Planet of Straw Men’ the most recent single released from the album (March 2019) and the first to be released on King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s record label, ‘Flightless’, they continue to keep the crowd moving.

TFS are formidable, engaging and fresh and I’m hard pressed to find a band that are like them.

Long live rock and roll….

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