The Soundwave lineup is so monstrously huge it can prove a little bit overwhelming when it comes time to choose what acts you’d like to sink your teeth into. This year, we thought we’d help out a little. After taking in everything that Brisbane had to over, here’s our handy list of acts who might get buried amongst the bigger names.
Explosively catchy, the outrageously heavy djent-ish grooves of the thoroughly unique prog/rap metal group were the perfect entree to a day of mosh. Hacktivist delivered a set so polished it seems peculiar that they aren’t in one of the later slots. They whet our prog appetite in the best way possible (and satisfied a craving for a Niggas in Paris cover we didn’t know we had).
After acquiring a taste early in the morning, UK prog power-outfit Tesseract went a long way towards satiating our hunger for metal. Their ambient flavour of djent delivered one of the grooviest sets of the day. Impeccably brutal basslines with a hefty coating of recently acquired vocalist Ashe O’Hara’s delicious melodic sauce that kept the festival goers vibing for the rest of the day.
Our Last Night
Soundwave has finally delivered Australians their first taste of a band well known for their post-hardcore renditions of pop songs like Radioactive and Clarity. But the Our Last Night we saw on Saturday delivered spice we hadn’t expected. Like an up-and-coming uppercut, the US four-piece held their own amidst a massive crowd of Asking Alexandria fans after playing the adjoining stage in the follow-up slot. With impeccable vocals and unbelievably catchy rhythm section, their set was easily as polished as their UK competitors next door.
Trash Talk are an all-American outfit that flash-fried our face off with their brand of California hardcore. Wielding some of the fastest, most violent beats in the modern punk scene, the four-piece invited anyone and everyone to clear the barrier and take the stage for a classic game of Four Seconds Of Fame Before Getting Manhandled By A Security Guard. Two-steppers and crowd-surfers prepare to indulge, Trash Talk are far more than a midmorning snack.
Gallery: Dream On, Dreamer – Soundwave 2014, Brisbane (Photos by Rebecca Reid)
If you haven’t had a chance to taste Deez Nuts yet, take the violence and energy of Trash Talk and marinate it in the perfect mix of rap-metal stylings and youthful rebellion. Never before has Brisbane moshed so hard to stories of smoking weed with their mates. If that’s not your thing, never fear – Deez Nuts’ blend of hardcore and metalcore was one of the hardest hitting mixes on the bill and will satisfy fans of either genre.
In Hearts Wake
At the start of the day, we hadn’t considered that perhaps a sprinkling of Halo sound effects is what was missing from our breakdowns. But after IHW’s set, we were licking our lips with glee. This Byron Bay metalcore troupe delivered a dynamic set with perfect portions of sweet and savoury in one hearty meal. Equal parts emotional and brutal, these lads created a dish best served very, very loud.
Thy Art Is Murder
We had just attacked a mid-afternoon snack and the festival food prices had left us disgruntled, to say the least. Thank god for Thy Art Is Murder. This is an Australian deathcore delight that could soothe any angry appetite. The set we witnessed was about as aggressive as you can get without inciting riots (and, according to AJ Maddah, they almost did). C-bombs were dropped left, right and centre, the crowd rushed security to leap to the stage en masse and their set was truncated by the powers-that-be to contain the madness. TAIM has the “Take Your Grandma Seal of Approval”.
When we saw Your Demise on the bill, we knew we had to take the biggest bite we could chew. And on Saturday, for the last time, their renowned of blend of melodic-hardcore, punk and metalcore mashed our faces like a meat mallet (in a good way). Circle pit after circle pit valiantly fended off scene girls and hipsters, keeping things cozy and giving the massive auditorium a small club feel that lovers of punk will crave. Do yourself a favour and dig in before it’s too late.
Dream On, Dreamer
A Dream On, Dreamer set is a handful of mixed candies, and that’s what we saw on Saturday. The Melbourne five-piece combined elements of post-hardcore, metalcore and synth in a perfect blend of sweet and sour. Not a single one of the delectably catchy choruses went unaccompanied by the throngs out to support their fellow Aussies. Not a single breakdown went without a circle pit or wall of death as the young band commanded an absolutely mammoth presence on stage. Now that we think about it, Dream On, Dreamer might just be the balanced meal we’ve been looking for all along.
To finish off the evening, we treated ourselves to some letlive. This band is something of an oddity – a fascinating mix of hardcore and soul, jazz and post-hardcore, served up by inconceivably energetic frontman Jason Butler. Tables were smashed through, amps became launching pads and a Bruno Mars verse was spliced into an outro. It’s impossibly hard to describe, but once acquired, this isn’t a taste easily forgotten.
Gallery: Soundwave 2014 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane