Like a good chocolate, the flavours of the evening were dark and eclectic - forged in the heart of a back room somewhere, then served up in The Back Room at Chardons Corner Hotel in Brisbane (29 June).
Therapist were tight! Mad props to Tom the bass player for his full-tilt performance. The arrangement of their songs are enticing and intoxicating, their timings fluid and deftly executed.
The juxtaposition overflowed into the visual with lead guitarist Eric wearing a Kimbra singlet, but a perfect match is found when Zach Eather’s vocals (the only voice that happens) meets their 'multiplex pulse' music.
An acoustic guitar makes a surprise appearance at the opening of the Archetypes set. Their prog-rock waves adding an almost orchestral sound to the evening, while their new drummer seems to be working out.
He counts in for the final song ‘Disconnect’ and the riff is a mysteriously spacious pop kind of wave, with some heavy-punch bass feels. It’s a little bit like a jar of real peanut butter (you know, the kind made from actual pulverised nuts) - texturally intriguing as you keep spooning.
Out of nowhere, Tomina’s smooth vocal soars across the room with an introductory number to the headline set followed by the single that named the tour: ‘Believer’.
A clever trick for all entertainers is to give the audience something familiar to establish a common ground to build relationship on: Flynn Effect demonstrate their understanding of this by following with a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Talk’ that they make absolutely their own.
It’s almost the end of their ‘Believer’ tour, but they announce the release of a second single from the forthcoming EP today, ‘Colossus’. They don’t play it here though: it’s a carrot for us to find in our own time that will be available on the ‘Monument’ EP, released 6 July.
“This one’s a ballad,” Tomina says, “but we’ll get through this,” as they launch into ‘The Fight’. Dialling the energy back up the band catapults into synth-heavy ‘All For Love’, from last year’s album ‘Obsidian’. The long, sung notes are a smooth glue binding together the tempest around them and that ending is such a beautiful, sudden slap in the face.
Then comes the dulcet lullaby ‘No Man’s Land’, from their 2014 album ‘Skin’. It’s not rock, but we’re rocking in this shadowy cradle together, laden with platform boots, black straps, buckles, dark eyes and lace.
The punters have done a decent job at trying to match the costumes of Tomina, Jesse (guitar) and Matt (bass), though no one can outdo the maiden with the microphone: A towering, sparkling, feathered monument of a woman.
‘Eastwood Blues’ is introduced as a country song… you might have to use some imagination, but it’s not too far-fetched a notion – maybe someone needs to arrange that cover version. Hay bales in the film clip, yes.
They end on a number that just rolls along nicely, ‘Give In To Me’, before exiting, mostly. The crowd does ask them to return and Flynn Effect salutes them goodbye with one of their earliest offerings ‘Whispers’.
It’s good to see a plucker on bass, they seem fewer between these days, and Therapist’s drummer Nick was thrilled to comment how tight they were as a band.
It was a top night of Brisbane’s alternative and prog rock talent on display, shortly before Flynn Effect migrate south for their next season, answering the beckoning of Melbourne’s music reaper’s skeletal digit.
Apparently I’m not supposed to mention the hair, but that was great too.
‘Monument’ EP is released 6 July.