WAKIN’ UP ON A STRANGE COUCH

GIANTS OF SCIENCE
+ FRONT END LOADER
+ THE WHATS
Annandale Hotel, Sydney
July 28, 2005


By EARL O'NEILL


A mate of mine just moved into a new place about five minutes walk from the ‘Dale, so it was more than appropriate that I check out her new digs and catch some rock and roll all at once. It’s a spiffy little place and remarkably cheap rent, considering it’s got a brand new kitchen and bathroom. We downloaded a few Green Coopers and got moving.

As tradition would dictate, I missed The Whats. Missed a chunk of Front End Loader, too, but what I heard was pleasantly surprising. I’ve never been a big fan of the band, always felt they were trying too hard to be clever, but they had a simple hard edge tonight that made them a whole lot easier to take than I’d previously found. Good luck with it, guys.

The ‘Dale has expanded into the old shop next door, creating a pleasantly seedy lounge-bar atmosphere with some old couches and tables, so you can relax and chew the fat, smoke cigarettes and generally chill out. It’s a neat addition to a Sydney landmark. Now, if only the Hopetoun could expand into the house next door on Bourke St…

Now, I don’t get out as much as I used to, but I reckon Giants of Science are the best Australian band around. Feel free to correct me, or offer alternatives, I’ll be happy to check ‘em out, but I stand by that for now. Giants of Science are the best band in Australia.

I’ve long been impressed by their ability to write and play songs that have a distinct edge and a unique style, yet still rock out in yr basic ballsy manner and not come over as way-too-clever smartarses. Tonight they featured a fifth member, hammering away on a guitar and keys. Awright! That makes three electric guitars! Or two and keys. Or two electric and one accoustic.

You get the picture.

Sounded like they featured a few new songs, too. The extra instrument affords Giants of Science the opportunity to make use of a wider range of dynamics atop the rocksolid rhythm, and they made the most of this new-found freedom. It was definitely the best show I’ve seen/heard them play. Aspects of it reminded me of the Afghan Whigs (best band of the ‘90s) because the new sound didn’t just limit itself to sounds, there were rhythmic things happening, twisted melodies, all wrapped up in a rockin’ show, the guys throwing themselves into it fullbore.

I took a few pix with my fone, one even came out okay. And, after all that beer, I didn’t have to worry about riding home, I just crashed out on the couch in another strange loungeroom. Got some good coffee in the morning, too. Truly, folks, this is living!

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