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[Review] Orange Goblin @ Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 13/04/2024

It’s Saturday night, I have gig itchy ear parts, and my plus 1 buddy Eoghan. We are cruising through town to get to the Croxton to slam a couple of Jars down and bare witness to Orange Fucking Goblin!! Yes please, make the pleat in my trousers full. Tick!

I love the Croxton and this night I could already tell was going be turned up to eleven.  All my friends were there, Orange, Peavy and Marshall. A couple of Ludwigs set up ready to be pounded.  Enter Astrodeath….

Astrodeath a two piece unit were up and energised. Throw a little QOTSA, pinch of Local H & maybe some Monster Magnet and you have yourself a booming duo that will knock you fucking face off. Right from the get go with Yoshi on the skins slamming into that kit and Tim’s presence and energy had everyone committed.  It was like being in the crowd of the Mupppet show with long hair trying to keep up with the headbanging that was unfolding. To further my point my Amigo Eoghan said its like watching Animal play the drums. We were both hooked and wanted more.

It was one of the night’s where you say to yourself if this is the first outfit then how can you go up from here.  Belting out tunes like Mountain King, Leviathan Rising and Ceremonial Blood, Astrodeath had us on the hook, even knocking out a Sabbath cover which as a two piece was a more than fair effort. Tip my hat to Yoshi & Tim for the sound they deliver, it’s full, it’s mixed right, it’s punchy, go hard or go home and fuckin delicious. Rate em highly. Check em out!

Isn’t it Rich?

Are we a pair?

Me here at last on the ground,

You in mid-air

Send in the clowns…………

Robe cladded doom metal Melbourne band Dr Colossus enters with Krusty the Klown’s Send in the clowns….not having seen them before I wasn’t expecting to see a band that infuses Doom metal with The Simpson’s!! The Croxton is filling up now and the Muppet show is keen to roll into more metal on the doom side with a sense of humour.

Jono,  Mike, Josh & Joel just had the pull of the crowd to get everyone amped not only for the gear they were spilling out but also for the up coming Goblin. The inhouse Dr of the night gave us a solid set featuring Pickabar, Sixt Six & Six Lard Lad & So Long Stinktown. A mixture of 4 string bass, left-handed drummer, lead and rhythm with excellent clean vocals gave us a well rounded tight Simpsons on the dark side of the moon. The Croxton community gathering around Mike to tribute a lost comrade was a nice touch too.

Bizarre moment as I was talking to me mate about Bon Scott and an AC/DC tribute band when It’s A Long Way came on through the PA. Now music had been playing between sets, so I never took much notice until the curtain started to rise. Sploodge!

Now that’s a way to open to a now eager Melbourne crowd. Tip my hat for having the smarts to walk onstage to a local tune like that. I give you Orange Goblin and yep we all were goblin!!!

Mountain sized Ben had us all in the palm of his hand as he swept us up and took us on OG journey starting back in 97’. You have Moses looking Chris centre stage on the kit, Joe on his Gibson (fuck me can that Dude play!), Harry on Bass stage right & Ben the Giant wielding cannon sized arms to grab the crowd, all in front of Marshall stacks teetering of the edge from blowing out.

Solarisphere, Saruman’s Wish, Made of Rats, Aquatic Fanatic ripped through the Muppet Monster race of fans left right, front and centre. A swarm of electric mayhem was a back and forth between crowd & our Orange Goblin. Joe’s guitar playing was outstanding, just a very fucking cool guitar sound, almost Angus like, lots of overdrive pushing his amp to the limit. The whole band dripping with style & energy. The sound mix was bang on and all instruments could be distinguished. Harry had his bass amp so high it was almost at warble but silky good.

More from the OG journey came Sons of Salem, Your World Will Hate This and moving into more of their newer kit Not Rocket Science which is a banger of a tune. Good driving song!! They also played Scorpionica, Time Travelling Blues finishing on Red the Rising.

Ben said he was told earlier on the tour, “Wait until you get to Melbourne.” As a reference to the Melbourne scene, pretty sure we lived up to the hype and even though it was the last Aussie show he vowed to be back and without the 10+ year gap between. So, if you like having your nipples turned up to 11 and your head spun off its shoulders then get yourself to see Orange Goblin, anywhere anytime!!

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[Review] Knotfest @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne 21/03/24

Metal Tee piece on; check! Hot ticket for Knotfest; Check! Hours away from seeing Phil & what’s left of the boys, swig of the goose and I’m amped and out the door to knock down the Cemetery Gates at Flemington Racecourse.

It is a perfect sunny Melbourne afternoon to squash down some cans, extend my middle finger to the working man & get shoulder to shoulder with my metal comrades. My brothers and sisters cladded in heavy duty boots, battle jackets and the mainstream defiant alike, all psyched to latch onto the assault of double bass drums & distortion city.

That working man that scored the bird didn’t cut the leash until 3:30pm so I can only review from The Hu onwards. I made my way to the two stages and settled into The Hu.  Now I’ve never seen The Hu before and I was immediately sucked right in. Fuck me, I was not expecting see a jaw harp at this gig. A Fkn Jaw Harp!! Then counting them off, yep 8 members, ok, a drummer and a percussionist, ok both my balls are in.

This is Mongol rolled out first. A hypnotic march paced folk / metal infusion. At first I was like WTF!! In my head I’m like is that a fiddle?!! I’m looking at this 2 stringer with bright white strings, are they cat gut strings??  With my undivided attention The Hu blasted me with next few numbers like Black Thunder, Wolf Totem, Bil Biyelgee, Yuve Yuve Yu and finished a Metallica cover Through the Never. Could’ve done without the cover, lost me a bit there. I mean if you’re going to cover a Metallica cover at Knotfest maybe go a bit more old school metal but each to their own.

Overall I rate them and I am even  listening to them as I write this. They are a great stage spectacle, almost has that trance like spiritual Mongolian vibe to it except they bash you in the face with it. Prepare for Mongolian battle music.

The sun is still pounding us from above but it’s a good pounding exit stage left shuffle 50 paces off your right shoulder and look its stage 2. Nice! Didn’t have to bolt 1km to the next stage, oh look BEEER Tent!!

Halestorm are up next and jeeze has Lizzy got a set of lungs on her! I mean Lizzy Hale can wail!!

Kicking off with I Miss the Misery the four piece rock outfit were pretty keen to grab our attention. Didn’t matter whether you were sprawled out on the grass or on your feet, Halestorm had you mildly moving at least one body part. Not sure they fit into the whole Knotfest scenario though.

I’d say they’re borderline hard rock and the only thing metal is the hardware on their instruments. Not saying they’re bad, just probs better off touring with The Baby Animals.

Enter stage left, its 6:15, the last of the sun for the day but the first of Lamb of God!

It was getting pretty thick with the flesh of humans now as we got pummelled with Memento Mori.   And Ihave to admit and it was a discussion point with a couple of my fellow musician mates that the guitaring mix was hard to hear over drum & bass. At points my T-shirt was vibrating from double kick drum mayhem. Ahhh outside air gigs are tough to mix!! We found ourselves moving closer to the sound booth to catch the clearer sound.  However, the circle work from the mosh gave no indication of the mix as the punters slapped flesh with the best of them. It was a fierce pit from the opening song and there was no relenting for the duration of their set.

With Morton & Adler locking it away tight with filthy good riffing that is punishingly brilliant but can also pull back into melodic interludes when its time. While Lamb of God aren’t my go to, its songs like Hourglass especially towards the back end of that track that sucks me in.

Lamb Of God had a ripper set giving the patriots Walk With Me In Hell, Hourglass & Now You’ve Got Something To Die For finishing on Redneck. It was bloody epic and was pretty well received for those that got through the mix.

JD can in one hand JD can in the other. Oh, fuck me Bro look its Disturbed! Hey You……was the first song that Dan & John kicked off with followed by Mike and then Dave with his renowned vocal sound. Thankfully back to stage right for Disturbed the mix was clear again and all instruments could be distinguished.

The crowd was slightly thicker again and as this set got further along the I started to see more inverted body parts poking out of crowd in front me. Dave kept them moving with Stupify rolling into seeing Ten Thousand Fists. It’s hard to stand still when a full tom intro from Mike kicks that song off and that distinctive guitar sound from Dan delivers a solid blow to your ear pieces.

Another killer set inclusive of Bad Man, The Game, The Light, Unstoppable, of course Down With The Sickness & Inside of Fire. Yes dickheads, they played The Sound of Silence!! I’m not a fan of the revitalised classic but it did have an atmospheric aura about it as our Aussie sun was done and the crowd drank it in albeit on a patch of grass and only too far from the cobbled stones but no one dared Disturb the sound of silence.

Stage Left Mother Fuckers!!!!!!!

Full Choad moment, let me prefix this with when I was a wee pissant teenager, my alarm clock would go off to the sound of Mouth for War!! Out on the stage walks Phil, crowd goes nuts need I say anymore?? OK, as follows.

A New Level was the first biscuit from the Cowboys from Hell. Couldn’t tell you what anyone else was doing as I was fixated on what was unfolding. Again, slightly annoyed at the mix, maybe it was something to do with stage left, Fuck You stage left!! So I found myself moving around a bit.  But wasn’t going to let that get in the way.

Next song…….wait is that my alarm….am I dreaming, oh wait nup that’d be Mouth for War.

“REVENGE!!!!!” “My ears can’t hear what you say to me!!!” Fuck me, it’s sooooo good!

Honestly, I’ve always kicked myself for not seeing them when Dimebag & Vinnie were still with us but this was better than nothing and if you’re throwing in Zakk then if not like for like then you’re getting value right? Not to forget Charle Benante who walks amongst the innovators of blast beating (I’m not talking about rapid pounding of your flesh puppet), any drummers will know and he carries his own. 

The setlist was Strength Beyond Strength, Becoming, I’m Broken, Suicide Note Pt 2, This Love, Floods, Walk, Domination / Hollow, Cowboys from Hell, Fucking Hostile. A few little intros or outros with By Demons Be Driven and Throes of Rejection.

Overall I walked out of there slaughtered and Goddamn Electric!! There was plenty of noise about the lineup this year not stacking up and even though I wasn’t there for all of it what was good was fucking ace and the substandard parts were still rocking. I rate 2024 Knotfest a ripping success and Pantera well, even at 5am in the morning, I’ll always have a Mouth For War!!!

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[Review] Deville @ Stay Gold, Melbourne 16/06/2023

Review By Andrew Pauley

Friday night in Melbourne Town goes a little like this. Beer + Beer + Beer + Tequila and a can of JD n Coke = Fkn pumped, where are the live acts at?!   Turns out that Brunswick at the Stay Gold was where some of the goods were on this night, to be.

After a burger and a parma down the road STM’s own camera man Shane and I stormed the Stay Gold. Neat little venue as in there is a bar, stage backdropped by Deville banner and another bar which pretty much sums up this little space. I’ve got add that the sound for a small space was bang on right across the board. The mix was defknlicious.

The line up for Friday night’s listening feast was and in order Nuada, Oceanlord, Child and headlining were Swedish Champions from Deville.

Nuada was first to wake up the night kicking off with their tune Salvaged from their Beneath the Swamp album. Stoner Bam! Right in the face coming off a sweet subtle intro of strings leading into a big fat bassy riff. Smoke machines licking our faces while these four fellas ripped through Sky so Grey, Sabbath, Cold Dead Black & Monster. Totes worth checking these dudes out, solid four-piece unit. Vocally strong and tight over well-structured tracks.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Oceanlord’s 3-piece Local Doom Dudes reached out to wash the room with slow tempo chunks of psych rock & undertones of UK metal. Out of the dark depths they came to launch their latest album Kingdom Cold. Didn’t know the songs but I believe they were from the new album.

Child, Trio No.2 for my third entrée and well I was not expecting these guys as I was transitioning out of darkness that was Oceanlord! My head nearly snapped right off my lower parts when this surprise packet dropped their nuggety, bluesy hard rock sermon. I say sermon as from their website it states we the lovers of this genre are the worshippers of the electric church!! Amazing performance with so much visual chemistry between the three members. I was a tad brain boggled at times when I could swear, I was hearing a Gibson but looking at Fenders. Switching from that mellow blues sound and then transitioning into raw hard rock. I definitely will track these fuckers down to go and visit their Electric Church again. Most impressed.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Some more Tequila with JD & Coke chasers were had to wash the previous entrees down and I got my shit together for Deville whom by the way are proper dudes which I got to chat to as we watched the previous sets. So, onto Deville, the now four piece unit from Malmo Sweden finally down under after SHITVID19 cancelled their previous tour. Full room thick with smoke machine air biscuit and a crowd ready to drink in Stone metal rock jams.

Busting the set out with Burning Towers, No Sun and Speaking In Tongues came, songs from their 6 album catalogue whipped Stay Gold into a grunge metal stoner frenzy. I could tell these guys were on and amped to pull the stage apart with high energy and left nothing in the tank. Even though Michael Odegarden had only brought his sticks with him leaving his kit back home, he jumped on that foreign kit in a foreign land and made it his bitch. It was awesome to watch him play tight rapid chops holding the backline to songs like Serpent Days, Deserter, Wrecked, Imperial and other tracks from the 6th studio album Heavy Lies the Crown.

Photo: Shane Henderson

I lost my shit however when What Remains came on and was front & centre trying to work off the worm from the bottle. Martin, Andreas, Michael & Erik deliver, and they deliver hard!! With galloping chunky riffs that make your nipples hard enough to support a wet blanket. Deville are just one of those bands that when heard live you can’t help but get involved with head nods and windmills.

Photo: Shane Henderson

Finishing their set with Rise Above, Sunset Capricorn & Lava (of fuck yes please Lava)! The band is travelling Oz at the moment and with shows in most states I implore you to get off your bean bag and go see them.

Seriously considering changing my offshore trip to try and catch them in Germany later this year so that’s gotta say something about the class of Deville.

You can still catch Deville on the following dates:

Thu, Jun 22: Finnians Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie
Fri, Jun 23: House of Music and Booze, Sydney
Sat, Jun 24: Indian Ocean Hotel for Spliffs’N’Riffs, Scarborough
Sun, Jun 25: Port Beach Brewery for Spliffs’N’Riffs, Fremantle

Tickets are onsale now through 


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[Review] Mudhoney @ Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 26/04/2023

Review By Andrew Pauley

If you don’t know it, then here’s a bit or two on the cruisy Northcote Social club.

The NSC shits all over the Northcote Theatre which is only a couple of puffs on a dart down the road. This sweet establishment has some Cherry Bar vibes. The venue knew that the gen X & Y alike were coming for a taste of grunge resurgence even if only for a couple of hours. As I sat with pints and took stock of the bar preshow, I was licked with Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, flannelette shirts and dirty jeans. NCS have their shit together and the draught was neck gobbling good.

As for the line-up, as I saw it, here it goes. Here is my account!

Seminal Rats were the opener and funnily enough, unknown to me these guys were drinking beer right next to me at the bar. I just thought they were some older dudes than me coming to see MH. Upon entering the “let’s call it rehearsal room (designated stage band room) I see the same older fellas racking up on stage. An unknown outfit that I am now fully ashamed to say I didn’t know and hadn’t heard a single bar of their tunes before.

I’ll get to MH in a bit but within the first track Seminal Rats smashed out Forever Blue, my instant thought was, will anyone notice my punk rock boner!! NCS is intimate right? So, when you’re close enough to smell an arm pit it’s clear for you to watch every musician doing their thing. They had me with a wink of their eye so I tucked punk rock boner away and paid attention. Completely captivated from the first 12 bars was I. Rat Race was thumped out with a cowbell and triplet kick drum intro slipping into some proper dirty punk. Expansion Joint, Stigmata & The truth Never Lies were some others that pashed our faces at tempo.

Maybe these cool motherfuckers haven’t gigged for a while as there were a couple of issues. From Todd having some issues with his bass drum pedal on one number, followed up with a sliding 22-inch silver sparkled Ludwig 80’s bass drum on the next song (drummers angst). But they are tight!!

At one point Dave on bass stood on his lead and kicked it out of the amp. Didn’t matter, jacked it back in and hammered that bass fret board and fingered those strings as punishment. Full credit to Dave for caning that four stringer at that tempo, in time for that long, like I said, Seminal Rats at weight for age can jam.

And that maybe the best part, with all the tech issues, as minimal as they were, made the full set a humbling one and it was like we the viewers were privy to a garage session. It was Intimate and I felt like I was discovering a new Love Buzz for the first time.

In conclusion for first act, let’s not discount Ruebin, been awhile since I saw in the flesh someone spreading five frets of G Chord with suspended hammer ons at tempo – it was deliciously quick and well executed.  As for Michael, and this will be the same for MH, the mix wasn’t good for vocals, a tad lost until while Todd was messing around with his kit, I got to hear Michael float his throat instrument by itself as they prepped for I Don’t Like That Guy which incidentally was probably my favourite song of the entire night. If they ever play again, I will suck acid chunks off a sidewalk to be there and I implore you to be there too, here’s hoping but either way I was glad to be there.

Tough first assignment for me to review a band that was for me a hum of indifference in the background of bands, where in that era I preferred other outfits.

What do you say about a band that was learning a craft stemming from Green River and playing with artists that would later go on to be instrumental (no pun intended) for other bands like Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam and 35 years later front up at the NSC?

I’ll say this, even though outside of some cracking tunes, a very evident stage confidence and poise, Mudhoney came to NSC to nut one out!! With bangers like Nerve Attack, Touch Me I’m Sick, This Gift, Who You Driving Now?  and You Got It to list a few that made my nipples hard.

It’s one thing to have a massive studio catalogue, it’s another to pick your setlist when you’re playing to 350 dedicated punters in a tightly packed room with no margin for error. By that I mean you get instant feedback from the scuzz heads if they’re not happy right?! But as they ripped into The Farther I Go it was game on. By the time we were into Nerve Attack with a sleezy bass intro before getting smashed with Steve-O’s siren sounding lead the room was hot with energy.

Again, the mix was shite and Mark’s mix was lost on me until I moved off to the side of the stage, where his scream and raw drone of Little Dogs a song lost on me, Mark became a tad more distinguishable from the overall mix. In saying that, the room was full of MH purists and they knew when to chip in & shout lyrics to the likes of Touch Me I’m Sick, even when the vocal mix was consumed by the unapologetic sound that is Mudhoney, giving a contained sea of bodies a chance strut their bodies to This Gift, hard not to with that rack tom & riff intro.

Unbiasedly I can say our home-grown lad from W.A, Guy, owned his Fender 4 string. That fucking dude! And he is a fucking dude! Ladies & dirtbags, he was outstanding!

My best moments of that gig were the songs that had drum & bass intro. Another Ludwig 4 piece kit was being beaten to death and if you were at not present, another four-piece band was had this night, and were turning it on. As I write this, I have vivid recollections of seeing Guy’s E & A strings wobbling that much that when they were, I could feel them through my feet and simultaneously bashing the inside of my rib cage.

Steve! This guy knows how to lead and totes looks like one of them fellas you just want to have a jar of beer with after!! While Mark’s lyrics and vocal style don’t resonate with me, the fact that these guys as rhythm and lead know how to blend Mark’s vocal instrument with distorted mud muff adds an extra layer of grunge jizz.

Collectively the band are tight, as you’d expect for a band that has been a part of a movement since said movements inception.  The dedicated guest list at the NSC came together to squirt their honey buzz love all over each other. It was beautiful to witness and I was glad I came along for the Mudride.

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