Words by SARAH MULHEARN

 

Sounds like: the earnest, grungy momentum of Hüsker Dü with the hard rock flair of the Hard-Ons.

Reuniting for a nostalgia tour of their early albums, Brisbane band Screamfeeder reclaimed the stage of their old haunt the Newtown Social Club to revive the ailing Indie Rock nimbus.

Opening act Freakwave treated the sparse and sober crowd to an energetic and compelling performance by smashing out tight, pared-back rock tunes with an unironic intensity. Following up, local four-piece The Laurels whipped the gathering audience into a hypnotic fervour, seamlessly integrating their numb drone-like bass, distorted and arrhythmic phrasing and non-diegetic sirens into something gripping and eminently danceable.

The crowd was already well into their cups and dripping with sweat by the time Screamfeeder took to the stage, riding off on the energy of The Laurels and wasting no time on pointless introductions. They launched right into their set, perhaps a little hastily, as it took them two or three songs to find their sync. Though once captured it was faultless, pushing tracks from their popular 90s records Flour, Burn Out Your Name, Fill Yourself With Music and Kitten Licks.

Their performance was grungy and raw, feeding off an anger and thrashing ennui that is not belied by their recorded work. More than once, the overwhelming fullness of their sound was broken open by tight, precise guitar solos that spoke of a more traditional rock n roll sensibility. Their vocals were alternately cracked and crooning, Tim Steward and Kelly Lloyd playing off each other to create the kind of sharp cadence that typifies the genre with the effortless skill and looseness that makes Screamfeeder so memorable.

3.5/5