Sunk Loto performed at Max Watt’s, Melbourne, on Thursday, 24th November. Brenton Harris reviews.
Sunk Loto returned to Melbourne for the first time in sixteen years, treating fans to a powerhouse performance that will live long in the memory. Taking the stage to the sounds of Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’, the recently reformed Gold Coast nu-metal outfit receive a hero’s welcome from the crowd, who are promptly whipped into a frenzy by crushing renditions of ‘5 Years of Silence’ and ‘Fall Apart’.
Sunk Loto – ‘5 Years of Silence’
Dressed in all black and flanked by guitarist Luke McDonald and bassist Sean van Gennip, vocalist Jason Brown cuts an imposing figure as he delivers hellish growls and soaring cleans. His brother, drummer Dane Brown, is a flurry of limbs, locking in with McDonald and van Gennip to generate a thunderous soundscape that brings the pit to life.
Although time hasn’t been kind to most bands from the nu-metal era, Sunk Loto seem to have bypassed the blemishes of age, with songs like ‘Empty and Alone’, ‘Lift’ and ‘Human Ashtray’ sounding as evocative as ever. ‘Lift’ holds up staggeringly well for a song written by a group of teenagers in 1999.
The band members look genuinely happy to be back on stage together, tearing through their earlier material as though newly inspired. The spirit of renewed connection bleeds into the crowd as well, with groups of friends standing arm in arm and singing along to the anthems of their misspent youths.
Sunk Loto – ‘Everything, Everyway’
The alt-metal ballad ‘Everything, Everyway’ provides a lighters in the air moment, with Brown playing conductor to an unruly choir; Big Picture Lies hit ‘Sunken Eyes’ inspires more than a few elder-millennials to come out of crowd-surfing retirement.
Sunk Loto close the set with a scintillating three-song run of ‘Burning Bridges’, ‘Erased’ and ‘Soul Worn Thin’, showcasing how monolithic they can sound. Many in the audience express surprise at just how good the show has been. “Way better than I ever expected them to be,” says one punter, echoing the general consensus.
The two-song encore of ‘Porcelain Buddah’ and ‘Vinegar Stroke’ adds an exclamation point to this statement. As the final moments of the latter ring out, we begin to ponder what comes next for this group of revitalised Gold Coast rockers.