Blank Realm / Four Door / Lucy Cliche / Sewers / Thigh Master at The Underdog

Saturday 8th February 2014 by Matt Thrower

In something of a “must-be-there” evening for Brisbane’s underground rock circles, Blank Realm   are tonight launching their superb Grassed In LP with the help of some excellent local and interstate talent.

Young locals Thigh Master get the night cranking with clanging indie pop, while fellow Brisbanian band Sewers are a nastier, but no less entertaining, kettle of fish, with a frontman who staggers about in a drunken manner and breaks the third wall by wandering through the crowd.

Theatre? Probably, but it’s still a cool addition to the group’s post-Fall clatter. A familiar face amongst Sydney gig goers, Lucy Cliché tonight performs a solo set of electronica with a dark, haunting undercurrent and deadpan yet crystalline melodies.  The Sydney duo of Jonathan Hochman and Matthew Hopkins aka Four Door continue the focus on electronic music, though their sound varies greatly from Lucy Cliché. Their set is a rush of techno-inspired minimalism that has the crowd suitably amped for tonight’s headliners.

In fact, it’s quite apt that we enjoy a combination of guitar and electronic-based acts tonight, as Blank Realm have always veered between the processed sounds of synths and the punk throb of guitar rock. Tonight, the band delivers a relentlessly upbeat performance of psychedelic punk with a krautrock propulsion. Even slower songs like the keening, mantra-like ‘Cleaning Up My Mess Again’ are sped up just enough to get feet tapping more actively, while at the same time never losing the essence of the tune. And the upbeat numbers are simply gushes of joy, such as the irresistible ‘Back To The Flood’ and the shoutalong single ‘Falling Down The Stairs’.

The band is having almost as much of a good time as the audience. I say “almost”, as one punter finds the most effective way to express his appreciation is to attempt to scale the lighting rig. The whole experience is about as much fun as one can have at a concert.