When I think about the first time I saw ohana a few years back, its like thinking about the first time I tried to ride a bike. At first I found it difficult and I could barely stay upright but I was intrigued and I wanted more.
I’ve continued to see this band at any given opportunity and over the years since I first discovered them have seen these Wollongong maestros evolve into something quite spectacular and unique.
Admittedly, in the beginning the word unique was not what sprang to mind, a few years ago most people who saw ohana would immediately think ‘wow. These guys really sound, and look, a lot like At The Drive-In. A LOT.’ However times have changed and apart from lead singer Wills hair, these guys have most certainly found a path of their own.
Tonight is the last show of their tour in support of their split 7″ with Brisbane compadres ‘To The North’. The EP sports a fruity banana laden cover which is likely to be the image that Ohana and To The North shall forever associate this period of their careers with.
Having only heard the song that ‘To The North’ contributed to the split, I was immediately impressed. Most the songs all seem to be a brainchild of extended bedroom sessions on behalf of the guitarist (I could be wrong), the rest of the band working their way around them resulting in great highly technical compositions that gel quite well. The drummer pounds his kit like it bitch slapped him, stealing the show. This young timid chap who looks as though he never did a thing wrong in his life sits behind his drums and all of a sudden becomes animal from the muppets
Ohana’s set starts in their usual no bullshit manner. Tonight, these guys clearly mean business. The sound that ohana bring to the stage these days is a tight powerhouse of post-punk glory and rhythmic experiment, a show one would be hard pressed to watch in anything but awe. The two guitars weave a mesh of angular chords and disjointed harmonics over a relentless ball of energy that is Ohana, filling every inch of the tiny room. The venue is perfect for this show, a tiny art space in Surrey Hills which allows for great intimacy and an overall splendid all ages Sunday afternoon. The set is closed with ‘bleed ideals’, Ohana’s contribution to the 7″, which he mentions they have played all of twice on the entire tour. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of all those who missed out on buying the EP before they all sold out.