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Live Review: Frenzal Rhomb, Gold Coast 2016

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Frenzal Rhomb / F.U.C. / The Cutaways
The Shark Bar, Gold Coast 29/09/2016
Review: Kris Peters

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from earlier Frenzal Rhomb gigs, it’s to expect the unexpected. Things rarely follow conventional order, and tonight proved no exception.

The Cutaways opened the night’s entertainment with an upbeat punk sound reminiscent of early Rancid. Tonight being only their second ever gig, they proved to the growing early crowd that they are going to be a band to keep a close eye on.

When F.U.C. stepped onstage, it was with a touch of nervous anticipation from the crowd. Dressed in matching leopardskin mankinis, the duo – featuring Todd Hansen of King Parrot on drums (and looking anything but rockstar in his attire) – were met with looks ranging from disgust, to excitement, to expectation. But, from the moment guitarist Dan Fromfuc implored the crowd to “take one step forward because my voice is fucked and I have a small dick,” the audience had more an idea of what to expect. Sounding metal as fuck despite the two-piece setup, both members shared vocal duties, and with cuts like “Volunteer”, “Elephant Song” and “Dolphin Trolley”, the emphasis was as much on humour as it was the music.

Crowd anticipation built as Frenzal’s set drew nearer, with this – the We Lived As Kings tour – celebrating the band’s 25-year anniversary. In a unique display of gratitude, the band had left the task of whipping up a setlist to their legions of hardcore fans. With a couple hundred songs to draw from, it was never going to be an easy task, but from all reports the response was overwhelming with a few surprises making the final cut.

Scrambling onstage to with the sounds of the Eagles‘ “Heartache Tonight” ringing in the air, the band had a… Let’s say “distinguished” look about them. For a band who were only supposed to have a limited shelf life for the duration of a competition, Frenzal Rhomb have managed a durability and popularity that’s rarely achieved, let alone sustained in the Australian punk scene. Their humour, music, and general disregard for authority struck a chord with many of the nation’s youth, and it was refreshing and surprising to see a cross-section of fans ranging from their teens to their forties making up the crowd.

The mosh pit was frenetic and dangerous as usual, and the music as chaotic and loud as expected – even to the point where vocalist Jason Whalley said it was the loudest onstage sound he had heard for some time. Drummer Gordy Foreman – fresh from a year-plus stint on the sidelines with a badly broken arm – was at his rampaging best up the back, seemingly showing off in parts to his father who was watching from the side of the stage.

The whole band performed with aplomb, with classics like “Mum Changed The Locks” and “(Get Fucked You Fucken Fuckwit) You Can’t Move Into My House” being especially well-received. All of the usual suspects were there – “You Are Not My Friend”, “Never Had So Much Fun” and “Bird Attack” to name a few – with, as mentioned, a few of the more obscure numbers making the cut as well.

Age might be catching up with them, but tonight’s show proved it shall not weary them either. Frenzal Rhomb are still firmly perched atop the Australian punk rock tree, and judging by tonight’s performance, it will take quite a bit of convincing for them to come down any time soon.

Frenzal Rhomb
Tour Dates

Friday November 18th – Club 54, Launceston (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au

Saturday November 19th – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart (18+)
Tix: oztix.com.au

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