-By Iven Manning
RTR’s showcase “In the Pines Festival” takes place this weekend at UWA’s Somerville Theatre, featuring a diverse lineup of Western Australian artists soothing, jarring, fresh and classic in equal measure. Below you’ll find the good oil to advise you when to get rowdy and when to chill on the picnic blanket and enjoy from afar.
Soul songstresses Merindas kick things off, followed by Hussy. Hussy channel the Riot Grrl sound and ethos in a more mellow garage-pop form. They are a really fun band and it’s nice to see them getting this kind of recognition, so get down early to see them.
A couple years ago The Pissedcolas were playing four-chord riffy garage punk but since then they’ve added Usurper of Modern Medicine’s Cameron George on analog synth and completed their transformation into a swirling wash of doom, psych and garage. Another early one, they’ve promised to unveil new material in Sunday’s set, so get excited.
Pines wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of Perth music without some psychedelia. Flying the flag this year are the Wheelers of Oz, a six-piece “kaleidoscope of sonic delights”. (RTR)
Pop heartthrob Jacob Diamond and exuberant purveyors of Western-Australiana Verge Collection are two artists who seem poised to bloom, following an upward trajectory in the last year towards the level of previous Pines alumni such as Jebediah, Little Birdy and the like. See ’em now we reckon.
Joining Diamond to represent folk on the lineup are Davey Craddock & The Spectacles, following the release of “City West” in 2015.
Siblings Josh and Joni Hogan are Joni in the Moon, playing experimental pop reminiscent at times of Grimes, while Fat Sparrow will deliver hypnotic jazz fresh from releasing their self-titled debut.
Perth’s local High Priests of The Riff Skullcave produce a heavy, meditative brand of doomgaze that’ll loosen your molars and rattle your bones. Irresistible head-nod music; prepare to get pounded.
Benjamin Witt is one of Perth’s most interesting guitarists. Ultra proficient; his use of loops and effects and warped melodies creates an original sound tinged with discord. Appearing with full band to bend the mind and captivate the ear.
Heebiejeebies play a strange breed of throbbing doomy post-punk. Frontwoman Hayley Beth is one of Perth’s most interesting guitarists and unique vocalists, and there’s been some rumor that Sunday’s performance will feature a trombone. Get excited.
Helta Skelta are long-time stalwarts of Perth’s underground hardcore punk scene. Whilst their most recent output has taken more of a British garage turn, their live show hasn’t fallen far from the tree. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes down in the relaxed Somerville environment.
Tired Lion played Splendour in the Grass last year and so should not be strangers to delivering their grunge revival to a bigger stage.
Another name which will evoke nostalgia include OG Perth punk Kim Salmon, whose legacy is lost on this spring chicken but will have older punters dusting off the denim for a new soak in sweat. Intense post-rock/shoegazers Radarmaker are yet another act corralled from exile by RTR, appearing for the first time live in seven years.
This year’s lineup features a few treats for Pines’ more wizened music attendees. Those who have followed Western Australian music for years that can’t be counted on two hands will be particularly excited for the comeback of 90’s grunge/shoegaze darlings Bucket, who return for their first appearance in 15 years. From the same generation comes Turnstyle, appearing with a rejigged lineup and lauded new material from 2015.