Cog @ HQ Complex Review

  • Written by  Jordan Bird
  • Monday, 26 September 2016 17:19
Published in Music  
Cog at HQ Complex, Adelaide, 23 September 2016 Cog at HQ Complex, Adelaide, 23 September 2016 Image © Jordan Bird
Despite only releasing two albums and two EPs during their 18-year career, Cog have crafted a legacy to easily rival any other Australian hard-rock band.

Miraculously, it seems as if their popularity has only increased over the course of their hiatus with their first national tour in over six years selling out venues all over Australia. Having previously seen Cog during their tour with the 2009 Big Day Out, I was skeptical as to whether their current shows would be able to meet the high standards set by my nostalgic memories of their golden years. I am happy to report that any doubts I had were entirely obliterated, as Cog are performing better than I could have possibly expected.

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sleepmakeswaves were the perfect choice to prime the crowd for Cog’s return, and despite having seen them play their own headline tour of Adelaide less than two months ago, their highly-charged set still managed to give me goosebumps. As so often happens, some of the punters initially seemed hesitant of the opening band.

sleepmakeswaves - image © Jordan Bird

However, it became quickly apparent to them that sleepmakeswaves were not so easily ignored, with their intense stage-presence coupled with their distinctively textured, instrumental epics managing to draw in the majority of the crowd before the end of their second song. sleepmakeswaves were quite chatty between songs, mentioning they were “knee deep” in pre-production for their as-yet unreleased album, though unfortunately this did not mean we were privy to any cuts from the forthcoming LP, with their setlist drawing heavily from their most recent release, ‘Love Of Cartography’.

They also paid their respects to Cog, citing them as a massive influence during their formative years as a band and stated how much of a privilege it was to be supporting them during this tour. By the end of their set, the crowd was sold on sleepmakeswaves, responding to their final song with a rapturous response worthy of a headline act.

sleepmakeswaves - image © Jordan Bird

Darkness fell over the stage for what seemed like an excruciatingly long period of time, sending the already palpable anticipation in the crowd to a fevered pitch. This resulted in a roar somewhat akin to a freight train when Cog took the stage to the introduction of their ten minute-plus opus, ‘Doors’. Cog’s live sound is mammoth and deafening, with a fullness to their music which is rare to find in a three-piece band.

Cog - image © Jordan Bird

As a unit, Cog is as tight as a drum, with the rolling, thunderous rhythm section of Luke Gower and Lucius Borich locking in perfectly while singer/ guitarist Flynn Gower layers his riffs and unique vocal-styling (which is currently sounding even better than on their albums) over the top. They truly have no right to sound this good so soon after such a lengthy hiatus.

Cog - image © Jordan Bird

Their setlist consisted almost entirely of cuts from their two LPs, and while there were cries from the audience to play something new from their rumoured upcoming release, there was no such luck. The crowd made it readily apparent that their absence from the Australian music scene was sorely missed, singing along to fan favourites such as ‘Real Life’, ‘Anarchy OK’ and ‘My Enemy’ loud enough that Flynn often pulled away from the microphone to let the audience finish the verse.

Cog - image © Jordan Bird

The crowd was at one with the music and Cog had us eating out of the palm of their hand. Long after the final notes of closing track ‘No Other Way’ rang out, the audience was still waiting and chanting for more. I can only pray they will grace us with their presence again soon, hopefully with something new to show us.

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