La Dispute, Balance and Composure and The Love Junkies - The Rosemount 7/6/14
La Dispute, Balance and Composure and The Love Junkies headed up a killer bill on Saturday night at The Rosemount. For those of you who aren’t aware of La Dispute, they create sonically brooding conscious hardcore, ranging from spoken word inspired textural cuts through to climactic heavy post-hardcore straight outta' Michigan. Having just released an absolute banger in Rooms of the House earlier in the year we went on down to see if they could recreate the impossibly intense sonic attack, as well as the sincere subdued moments, as intense internally. Likewise, Balance and Composure are inspired by Midwestern emotional hardcore of the 90’s, creating atmospheric and emotionally heavy rock music.
First up, The Love Junkies, whose Flight Test EP we spoke of just months ago. The Love Junkies are a trio from Perth, Nirvana doused with a little Kyuss and paranoia will probably summon their music in your head. They played a rockin’ support set, filled with musings from their debut LP Maybelline and aforementioned Flight Test EP to a respectably filled out Rosemount d-floor.
Then there was a great shuffling of feet as Balance and Composure began their sound check. Although technically a support band, it felt more like a co-headline slot; many of the sold out crowd were there for Balance and Composure, and I soon found out why.
Balance and Composure made it known how happy they were to be back in Australia, and played mostly new tracks from their latest album The Things We Think We’re Missing, with ‘Parachutes’ ending the set on a high note. Instrumentally very tight, weaving between guitar led melody and through to some experimentation with some noise pedals through some cuts, Balance and Composure are really held down by lead vocalist Jon Simmons, who with his limited range creates beautiful vocal lines over jangly guitars and emotion-filled drums.
La Dispute would be nothing without Jordan Dreyer’s signature whiny talk/scream/sing/thing delivery. Jordan Dreyer’s signature whiny talk/scream/sing/thing delivery would be nothing without the musical back-bone that is La Dispute. Being such a musically niche offering, I was interested in seeing how their new touring guitarist would cope, following the loss of Kevin post-Rooms of the House release to become a guitar luthier, and holy shit, cope they did.
On their second trip here within a year, La Dispute played a near perfect set, cramming in 19 songs largely drawing from their latest two, Rooms of the House and Wildlife. Opening up with back-to-back Rooms of the House openers ‘HUDSONVILLE MI 1956’ and ‘First Reactions After Falling Through Ice’ was a sure-fire way to get the crowd ready, and the 5 piece nailed it all, La Dispute’s touring guitarist filled in beautifully, however the absence of more abrasive songs culminating in guitar harmonies was noted. All of the songs they played however, including a beefed up performance of ‘Niine’ off Here, Hear III were played beautifully.
The projected backdrop was a beautiful touch to the set design, La Dispute are known for delving in visual arts, their album covers, release designs and limited artworks testify to that, and it really made the gig feel unique; Condolences to Brad Lugt for having to stare into the projector for an hour and a half.
La Dispute’s set weaved through their three LPs, with ‘Andria’ and ‘New Storms For Older Lovers’ from their debut, and playing through most of their new Rooms of the House LP, with ‘Woman (Reading)’ being hugely popular, a more subdued La Dispute song created a nice break between their usual more dissonant tones.
Jordan’s frantic stage presence, heartfelt delivery and declaration of non-hyperbolic love for Perth made up for the at times muddy and washed out vocal performance, which is an understandable by-product of having such a loud and dynamic band. The set highlight was undeniably their encore performance of ‘King Park’, an absolutely amazing piece leading to a crescendo with every attendee screaming out the last few lines, “WILL I STILL GET INTO HEAVEN IF I KILL MYSELF?!”.