It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Queenslanders Rollerball in Sydney, so it was as satisfying as a cold beer on a hot summer day to see them back in town for their Submarine album launch. As an added bonus we had support acts Sydney rockers Mother Mars and a band many hadn’t heard of – Crazy Legs Vermin.
Mother Mars were freaking phenomenal – they should be out headlining their own gigs. If you’ve been suitably motivated enough to get off your arse and get their album Primitives – that’s pretty much the sound you get in a live setting. Tight, super-groovy sci-fi rock. Keep an eye out in the gig guides for these guys.
Crazy Legs Vermin were unfortunately unable to match Mother Mars for sheer sonic output. Sounding like a 90s grunge cover band, they played a decent but uninspired set. An off night? Who knows – but they certainly have potential.
Photos by Tynan Curry
Rollerball set off like a box of your neighbours illegal fireworks, coming out swinging without respite (except for the odd obligatory booze break). Dropping a rock n’ roll sized nuke with new song Submarine, they kept the sonic booms coming with exploding power riffs, aggressive rhythms and catchy sing-along choruses. A nuclear powered highlight was the epic Dragon from their classic Lost In Space EP. Also seven thumbs up for Superstructure – it was suitably epic.
Matt Tenpin’s forceful driving vocals are the perfect match for their retrograde high octane rock – and with my new favourite axeman Dave Talon peeling off red hot guitar licks, it’s up to tribal drum machine Cam Cracker Roach and cowboy bassist Stew Boots Maclennan to round out the slick sound of Rollerball. The mix was just perfect – something I forgot to commend the mixing desk about, although I was busy drinking beer and getting my boogie on.
Armed with a new album, Rollerball will no doubt be back in town soon enough to remind us how to rock. No bullshit, no pretension, just quality rock n’ roll – hard, melodic and fast. What more do you want?