Supports: The Culture Industry, MilkyWay Mariners, Catches & Halves
Venue: Rad Bar, Wollongong
Presented By: Summerland Records
Heading to this show I was a feeling a lot of anticipation. I had heard a lot of good things about some of the bands playing tonight so I was keen to see if they lived up to the hype. I had a chat with Hammers before their sound check and they all seemed like a bunch of really cool blokes and they were all super keen to play at Rad Bar for the first time. Even during sound check they were all having a laugh and a lot of fun which seemed to be a reflection of their music.
-Catches & Halves-
Coming to this show I hadn’t heard of this band but I was keen to see how they would play alongside such powerful bands. Right from the very first song anyone could tell that these guys bled pop punk. Each song was quick and filled with punchy riffs and speed drum lines, the basic structure of old school pop punk. However whilst each individual member of this band was incredibly talented as a band watching them play I believe that they needed to spend a lot more time together as a band. There were a few very visible timing mistakes which showed signs of unfamiliarity with the songs. Even the banter between songs there were often brief moments of confusion that showed amongst the members. However considering the fact that this band hadn’t plated a show together for a long time, with a lot more practice together this band has a whole lot of potential to create a name for themselves in the Wollongong punk scene.
I had heard a lot of good things about this band and was super keen to see if they would hit the bar that other people’s opinions had set for me. There was a lot of anticipation emitting from the crowd. Opening with some really groovy riffs that had every member of the audience moving their bodies in some way. They then changed their sound entirely, switching to a much faster, heavier grunge/punk sound. You could tell just from watching them play together that they are all so comfortable with each other and are used to how each individual plays. With every song the energy levels continued to rise packing even more of a powerful punch than the last.
Despite having his head aggressively rubbed and being interrupted by a drunken patron the singer remained in control and kept the tunes cranking and despite the bass amp playing up the band continued to play whilst the problem was being fixed showing a high level of professionalism. This band has such an individual and unique sound ranging from groove to fast punk which has left me wanting to hear and see so much more from these guys. I guarantee they will be leaving a mark on the music scene of Wollongong.
-The Culture Industry-
With my mind being blown by the last band I wasn’t expecting this next band to reach an entirely new level. Right off the bat they were hitting the audience with fast, aggressive and powerful tracks which had everyone jumping around and losing their minds. The vocalist had one of the most powerful and unique voices I had ever seen from a local live band. Every song was an insane explosion of Aussie punk laced with clear original roots. The band was able to keep level with the audience’s energy through the banter between songs and they never stopped looking like they were having an insane time on stage. Every single song they played kept the energy levels high and the audience entertained and cheering. They are without a doubt one of the few bands I know around Wollongong keeping the punk scene alive and kicking.
I wasn’t sure how much more mind blowing my brain could take but after Hammers started playing it was shattered. I had been so keen to see these guys play since I had first reviewed a track from the latest album “Home Blokes” and just from listening to their sound check I knew that myself and the entire audience were in for a good time. Right from the first note being played every person in the venue was banging their heads. With every band member dancing and rocking hard they completely overshot the already high levels of energy that the supporting bands had set for the show. Fish’s vocal range had already impressed me listening to their tracks but seeing him sing in person was an entirely new experience. His range and power was on a different level with his screams being so controlled but sill managing to shake the entire room.
Watching Hammers play you could tell that they had been performing together for a long time and that so much practice had been put into each and every song. Everything they played flowed so smoothly and perfectly ensuring that they were providing the best possible experience for their audience. Every song packed a powerful punch that the audience thrashing around like there was no tomorrow. If anyone reading this has the chance to see Hammer’s play live I strongly recommend they do it. They are quickly turning into one of the most powerful bands on the live scene and you won’t regret it if you have the chance to see these guys tear it up on stage.