-By Luke Keatinge
After playing shows all around the country through March and April, Shit Narnia returned home to close out their s/t EP launch tour with a final gig at Mojos last Sunday. It was a stellar night of local music with a lineup of supports including Race to your face, Rabbit Island, Foam and Hideous Sun Demon.
Instrumental duo Race to your face kicked things off with a set of beautifully crafted experimental numbers, made up of soothing melodies and waves of inventive beeps and bops. Considering themselves ‘math rock’ (an experimental style of rhythm and melody), the two piece produced almost therapeutic sounds out of their guitar and drums. With tracks like bipolar pied piper of billie piper, paul turner and megamix superwoman off their this be e.p. EP, their ever-rhythmic percussion and calming yet exciting guitar work evoke a kind-of videogame-like tranquility. These guys mesmerised in how they sustained levels of intensity and atmosphere, and their music taps into something really special.
Rabbit Island was up next, with Amber Fresh captivating with a dreamy, ethereal solo set. It was a mellow turn for the night, with Fresh’s airy, delicate vocals and keyboard getting listeners swaying with their eyes glued to her and her graceful alt pop.
Three-piece grunge rockers FOAM followed up with a fun mash of distorted guitar riffs, booming drums and fierce vocals. Their defined garage rock is a great throwback to the alternative rock bands of the early 90s, and the low-key Mojos crowd got pretty wrapped up in the storm of guitar-infused carnage on display.
Up next were Perth post-punk legends Hideous Sun Demon, whose high-energy garage thrash was as chaotic and enjoyable as ever. Their frenzied, hard-hitting guitars, relentless drums, screeching vocals and wonderfully deranged stage antics from front man Vincent always make their live show such an intense and entertaining experience. Tracks like Flex and Moan for Jesus show just how high these guys can get the energy in the room, and their booming psyche-garage songs coated in their infectiously vicious punk sensibility had the faithfuls at the front appropriately bouncing off the walls.
Finally it was Shit Narnia’s turn, and their unhinged thrash rock was a fitting close to the night. It doesn’t get much more garage than these guys, and their live show was just as loud and messy as their music. Their set was a series of rapidly intensifying grunge rock infused with a garage looseness and sense of just not giving a shit. Front man Hugh took his shirt off shortly into the set, jumping down past the stage speakers sweaty and electrified, roaring his lyrics right in the faces of the front row.
This young quartet plays by their own rules. Their music is messy and chaotic; a product of their garage ethos and unfiltered energy rather than traditional song structures or genre, and it works. Tracks like Dogwedding and Castration Fantasy #2 off the new EP are demonstrations of how seamlessly they can transition from quiet moments into peaking crashes of sound. Their lyrics and vocals are stripped-back and vulnerable, reminiscent of Aussie artists like The Smith Street Band. At times breaking and more spoken word, Hugh’s raw voice with his Aussie accent infuse their sound with an honesty and relatable emotion, struggle and madness – at times like an untethered and slightly manic stream of consciousness. It’s dramatic, impassioned stuff, driven by energy and emotion, and these guys embody these punk/garage ideals in every aspect.
Shit Narnia’s rawness may not appeal to everyone, but these guys are incredible at what they do, and they kill it in their live shows – oozing intensity and leaving it all on the stage for whoever wants to partake in their no-holds barred ferocity.
Photo Credit: Mojo’s Bar Fremantle