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Review – Defeater, Sydney

After a night of cheap wine, English girls and skinny-dipping my associate Billy Dong-Soft and I slept in, waking in a panic we didn’t have time to shower so we had to make do with a quick rinse around the key areas, following that, we made tracks to the big smoke.


Now I have been playing in both violently savage hardcore and drunken sad-old-bastard country bands for the last few years, neither of which have afforded me the opportunity to surround myself with anyone under the age of 18, I was not sure what to expect of the day ahead but I went in with high hopes knowing that Defeater would not disappoint.


We arrived with in Sydney with what we thought were only minutes to spare only to discover we were at the wrong venue and with little options we approached two helpful police officers asking for directions, due to the junkie aesthetic we were rocking they were reluctant to give us directions to the pub. Eventually we found the line and a few old friends enabled us to snake a better spot,


Doors opened and the cash lined pockets of the youth of today headed directly for the merch tables on the other hand we found a vantage point for the first band.


Perspectives (http://www.facebook.com/PerspectivesAU) swiftly took to the stage with their brand of new wave hardcore, reminiscent of bands such as La Dispute and Defeater. Their fans showed their dedication with the obligatory stage diving and moshing, all lead by their enigmatic front man. For a young band this was such a huge opportunity to play with one of their biggest influences and they displayed a high level of musicianship and maturity, there is a bright shining future ahead for Perspectives, in time they will smooth the rough edges and grow into their shoes.


Up next was Blacklisted, all the way from what I assume to be the always sunny Philadelphia. Chugging through as set of angry anthems this 4 piece blasted out a pounding sound that appeared to go unappreciated by the younger crowd but by the end of their set the crowd had eased into the harsh hardcore riffs. Playing the tightest set of the evening it is clear to see how they have established themselves as one of the bands on the forefront of hardcore movement.


Eventually it was time for Defeater, and this sudo-journalist found a safe place for his glasses and packed in tight with the others. The crowd grew restless as frontman Derek Archambault limped across the stage with his ankle in a cast and cane in hand. Exploding out with the open track Warm Blood Rush, the crowd became enthralled in the ferocity of the bands delivery, only to then be told that Derek’s broken ankle was a serious thing and to “Stay the fuck out of his space and look after the people around you”.  Not a bad word could be said for their set, smashing through song after song from their repertoire. The crowd grew anxious for their acoustic classic “I Don’t Mind” and as the last chords rang out the band rejoined Derek for the highlight of the afternoon, a country jam of “But Breathing” which demonstrated that Defeater are more than just a one trick pony. Finishing up their set with “Cowardice” the crowd took the opportunity to get their fill of stage dives, which ended up in myself being squashed by a man twice my size.


Ears ringing and skin bruising, the room emptied and all of its occupants left more than satisfied with the events of the day. This was easily one of the better hardcore shows I personally have seen this year and if not since Defeater last toured. If you haven’t already I suggest giving this band a listen, their album “Empty Days and Sleepless Nights” is the third installation into their epic concept.


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