Going to a concert is like watching professional wrestling: both involve showmanship, sweaty bodies pressing up against each other, and occasionally, the ability to take an audience on a deep and unexpected narrative journey. As eminent pop-philosopher Macho Man Randy Savage once proclaimed, “cream always rises to the top”. And I Heart Hiroshima – with supports Shady Nasty and Yeevs – at the Oxford Art Factory, could only be described as ‘creamy’. All three acts delivered lush, velvety, and moreish tunes – a knock-out of a setlist that varied sonically, but was united in its consistent quality (and a shared love of milky-rich Telecaster shredding), that made for a thoroughly enjoyable triple-dollop of an evening.
Shady Nasty kicked off the night in rambunctious fashion with a heavy blend of hard core and post-punk to rattle our bones, evocative of Death Grips and early Temper Trap simultaneously. These local boys body-slammed the crowd with acrid but tasty headbangers – serving up bass with presence, feverish drumming, crisp strings and strong, honest vocals. My only complaint was that their set was too short!
Yeevs kept the hype going with soaring tunes – a concoction of fresh but biting indie punk, like a hard apple cider. Hailing from the Blue Mountains, Yeevs had an instantly engaging sound – think Billy Bragg if he had a Mohawk and was into shoegaze. “Novocaine” was a particular highlight, with lead singer Brad Cork’s twangy vocals rising up over crispy drums and angry bass. Their dedicated fans and entertaining stage patter added to their charm.
Headline act I Heart Hiroshima were back in fine form, playing material from their latest project ‘Spillin’ The Light’ as well as old favourites. I Heart Hiroshima were crisp, bright and fun – an unconventional setup of two duelin’ guitars, no bass, and a drummer on lead vocals. While it was good to hear some new stuff from these Brisbane babes, the crowd were definitely more hyped for their OG tunes, their classic bangers “Captain” and “Shakeytown” getting the loudest reactions. Light-hearted and frenetic, I Heart Hiroshima were a delight, staying true to form with twangy, beachy vibes and a grungy sensibility failed to disappoint.
Shady Nasty, Yeevs, and I Heart Hiroshima made for a sweet and smooth musical Thursday night dessert. Each act packed a punch and left me wanting seconds. If indie and/or punk’s your thing, I would heartily recommend you check these three out.