THE SPECIMENS
+ THE PINK FITS
+ ATOMICIDE
Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
March 30, 2007

By SIMON LI

There were distinct schools of underground guitar rock on display tonight, represented by bands with varying levels of experience.

Openers (and youngsters) Atomicide delivered well-worn (but also well-received) high energy rock with inspiration drawn from classic British '70s (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Motorhead) sources. Much of Atomicide's original material held up well alongside the fanatically requested, but well done, take on Motorhead's classic "Ace of Spades". Guitars and strings became casualties towards the end of the set. Although they seemed out of place compared to the other two bands, Atomicide delivered the goods.

Friends and alumni of Wollongong products The Dead Set (nee Shifter/Rifter), The Pink Fits were up next. Their 60's infused rock has grown on me after repeated viewings and listening. They take some getting used to but once you do, you'll latch on for as long as keep firing.

Fresh from their support slot at The BellRays at Sydney's Gaelic Club, most of the Fits' set worked and showed off material from their recently released "Fuzzyard Gravebox" album. "Why (Don't Ask)" and "You Better Run" are some of the band's newer originals. You'd be hard to to satisfy if you didn;t like them or their set tonight, even with half of the PA system suddenly being rendered impotent at one stage.

Headliners The Specimens were also affected by the PA problem but shook it off for most of the night. They were on a tour to support their third and newest album "Jazz Brutus" so most of the set was drawn from it. Whic is fine - new songs like "I'm a Believer", "Locked Out" and and the title track re-affirm the band's growing reputation for fast, loud and high energy Motor City-via-Darlinghurst Australian guitar rock. Some of the tasty guitar interplay from Tim Wold and Terry Opie showed psych overtones, and the engine room of drummer Brent Lockwood and bassist Adam Clarke as rock solid as ever.

As the set came to its inevitable grinding halt, the PA appeared to taken some toll on the band, in particular bassist Adam. This led to a highlight of the gig when he chucked an onstage rampage and almost totally re-arranged Brent's drumkit.

All in all, well worth the hard-earned cash for admission.


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