Title Fight, Luca Brasi, Toy Boats.
Sun Distortion Studios, Albion.
After releasing their impressive effort, Floral Green in September of last year, Pennsylvania’s Title Fight return to Australian shores for a string of small, sold out club shows. After their controversy-ridden performance at the Old Museum for their Brisbane debut appearance in 2010, there is a buzzing expectation amidst the all ages crowd of Albion’s Sun Distortion Studios.
Toy Boats, the group moniker of Hugo Costin’s melancholy compositions, take a different shape for tonight’s
louder edgier line up. Abandoning his usual wooden acoustic guitar for a sharp telecaster, the recent Resist signing and Byron Bay success story opens strong with his ode to young romance, Rent. As an appreciative early crowd pushes in to support the young group’s brand of emotive rock, the band play away with a set of cohesive tunes that strike as consistent and formulaic to the point of predictable. Costin’s nasal delivery nuanced with a few harsh yells keeps things interesting but not enough so to keep some of his audience inside the humid warehouse venue.
Marrying the musical ferocity of Hot Water Music with a display of technical virtuosity, Luca Brasi perform a scathing set of punk rock that is both melodic and confronting. Wearing their influences on their sleeve, the quartet exudes nothing but honest pride while performing their patriotic yet snide ode to their home state, Viva Tassie Cabrones. Having played the Australian east coast a few times in the last six months, it’s a wonder if they ever return home across the strait, but Brisbane doesn’t seem to mind tonight. The crowd’s bopping heads slowly morph to an outburst of flying fists and chorus singalongs in time for their finale, Theme Song from HQ leaving the room sweaty browed and heavy in anticipation for the act to follow.
“Hi. I’ve made promises that I can’t keep…” Title Fight’s Ned Russin makes no bones about an introduction, leading the Kinston quartet through a crushing and crunching Secret Society. Bodies flew from whatever height they’d take advantage of before crashing atop the emerged crowd before the band, the two separated by no more than five centimeters of stage, creating an instantaneous intimacy. Although plagued by technical issues for a majority of their set, vocal amplification hardly seemed necessary as the crowd erupted through Symmetry, Coxton Yard and Numb, But I Still Feel It. The impassioned yet fragile duet of Make You Cry and droning Safe in Your Skin, allowed the young audience a time to catch their breath but never recovered as the band hit them with track after breakneck track. As the introductory chords to the anthemic, 27, are strummed out, the crowd taking the stage to apprehend a microphone or vault themselves from the foldback speakers. Russin roars over the top of them, “Do you remember/your lucky number” before signifying the end to a set that will stay with these young music fans longer than the countless bruises and the ringing in their ears.