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Most of the sold-out crowd had packed into the refectory area by the time The Herd came on stage. Although everyone was seemingly crammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, there was a little fluidity within the crowd, as everyone managed slowly to create a little bit of dancing space around themselves in anticipation of what was to come. The group had somewhat of a false start, caused apparently by a mixture of technical problems and a missing group member, but as soon as they eventually launched into 2020, their recent radio favourite and opening track from their new album Summerland, every person in the building was bopping about and chanting along in a manner reminiscent of many of the Herd’s standout live performances. Like TLK, the Herd’s set was outstandingly strong the whole way through, although at an even higher intensity than the former. There weren’t any surprise inclusions or exclusions from their set, however they performed an altered, latin, Rhythms Del Mundo-esque version of 77%. While it was fun to see them playing around with their music so creatively and interestingly, as well as it being understandable that they may be tired of playing this staple at every show, I’m sure that many fans – myself included – were a little disappointed at being unable to shout until their throats were hoarse to a usually epic live song. Overall, highlights were hard to pick, but the electric energy that bolted through the crowd during Unpredictable was particularly memorable. Sold out shows at the ANU rarely disappoint, however as usual, The Herd put on a performance that, as hard as it would have been, still managed to surpass many expectations. BEN HERMANN Na Maza/Voltera/Our Last Enemy/Corgi Crisis @ The Basement, Friday August 15 Local band Corgi Crisis presents a sound that would be an excellent accompaniment to any riot. The rabid, rapid fire lyrics from the vocalist are a blaze of insanity and the instrumentalists reveled in their discordant, random approach to making music. While the bass was downplayed, the lead guitarist had a frantic workout, producing a sound that jumps from one rhythm to another with any actual melody only a temporary, casual stranger. Our Last Enemy from Sydney produced a more melodic, layered approach with considerable depth made possible by the introduction of keyboards into the mix. The vocalist displayed an impressive ability to drag out the powerful screams that were a feature of every song - his frequently employed technique of shaking the mic produced a unique quavering tone. Another remarkable skill involved rapid chops to his throat with the side of his hand, producing further extraordinary vocal effects. The band gave an awesome show of extreme metal that wowed the audience and they finished strongly with the closing song Headless. Voltera from Melbourne kicked off their set with Do What Your Daddy Says. They have moved on from the genre of progressive metal and planted their flag firmly in the field of shock rock. Vocalist Jessica has changed her image and abandoned the block eye shadow look, however she entered a new zone of effects with fake blue blood oozing down her chin onto her chest. The antics of the guitarist, with live crickets crawling from his mouth, brought back memories of the glory days of gross-out, in your face effects. Exorsister and a cover of Push It were set highlights. Local lads Na Maza were back on song after a longish break from playing and a recent first reappearance at The Greenroom. Vocalist Mila began the set by pounding the beat on a solo drum by the barrier, calling the fans to near the front of the stage. After the uncanny behaviour of a couple of the previous bands, locals Na Maza took us back to straight forward, traditional metal. There were no stunts, just roaring vocals, killer riffs and enticing pulses of sound that had the rate of head banging and hair rotation going off the scale. Pressure and Whisky Song (gotta be an anthem for any drinking session) were set highlights. RORY MCCARTNEY

BMA Mag 308 21 Aug 2008

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