Reviews Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Black of Hearts




Hockey Dad brought their surf punk rock to a packed Croxton Bandroom in Thornbury Melbourne for their ‘Blend Inn’ ‘Join The Club’ national and regional tour.

Filled with mostly tweenies imitating their heroes with trademark peek caps and scruffy long locks, they waited anxiously, making regular trips to the bar as the scheduled 10.30 show drew closer. The duo jumped onto the stage right on time kicking off their set with ‘Disappoint Me’; their infectious energy immediately flooding the room as the first of many crowd surfers made an appearance and the whole room bounced in unison.




A sparse stage setting with just the two band members, Zach Stephenson on vocals/guitar and Billy Fleming on drums. Without a backing band it was hard to believe it was just them making all this punk rock noise. The next three tracks ‘I Need a Woman’, Can’t Have Them’ and ‘Laura’, were all taken from debut album ‘ Boronia’ much to the crowds delight, with the mosh pit already in full swing. They continued to unleash classic tracks from both their albums, such as ‘I Wanna Be Everybody’ , ’Beach House’, ‘Jump The Gun’ and ‘Raygun’. Even better for the fans was the track ‘Seaweed’. An oldie from their debut 5 track 2014 ep ‘Dreamin’.





Billy Flemings' drumming was mesmerising. It was hard to take your eyes off him. It’s rare that the drummer takes centre stage, but on this occasion he definitely stole the show., with the highlight being on ‘Laura’, when Billy banged the drums into submission and the crowd drenched in sweat and beer, roared for more.

Hailing from Windang in regional NSW, their boy next door surfer charm rubbed off onto the crowd as everyone appeared to be having the time of their lives, including the band, with banter between the two of them which was quite endearing.




A surprising cover of Brit Pop legends Supergrass' ‘Alright’ was a brilliant choice which slotted perfectly into their set as they made it their own with a punk twist to the original. What I really found impressive was Zach’s flawless vocals live. It was very hard to distinguish between their live music and recorded music!




Their hour long set was coming to an end and Hockey Dad rips out ‘Sweet Release’ and ‘So Tired’ to finish the high energy show. The crowd loved the set and it is safe to say that Hockey Dad delivered one incredible sweaty performance that you can never forget. ‘Join The Club’ and see them live. ‘Blend In’ out now.



Melbourne multi-instrumentalist LANKS plays an emotional set

Melbourne multi-instrumentalist LANKS plays an emotional set

Melbourne multi-instrumentalist LANKS (Will Cumming) played a majestic sold out show at Northcote Social Club. As part of his 12-date national tour, his first as the headline act, LANKS together with sister/manager Louise Cumming on keyboards and Justin Olsson on drums, brought to life his critically acclaimed debut album ‘twenty seven’. After releasing 3 well received Eps (Thousand Piece Puzzle) 2014, (Banquet) 2015 and (Viet Rose) 2016, ‘twenty seven’ a powerfully personal electro/pop gem was released in April 2018.
The album speaks about the exploration of growing up, relationships and making decisions that could change the course of your life.
Decked out in striped T-shirt, black jeans and boots, LANKS has been described as a triple threat, as he is the writer, vocalist and producer of this album and carries that burden effortlessly.


The hour long set was an emotional journey, interspersed with LANKS casual, sometimes self-effacing, musings between songs which made him all the more enduring as the packed crowd lapped it up which visibly humbled him. The backing band were tight, a mixture of synths, piano/keyboard, the occasional trombone and drums, together with LANKS guitar and sublime vocal delivery made the night electric.
The crowd sang along to all the songs which was amazing considering the album has only been out for 4 months. LANKS was really touched by this. And at one point between songs, thanked the crowd for blowing his mind by singing back the words he had scribbled down alone in his room a while back, not knowing at the time if it will ever be heard by anyone, it was a nice touch and brought the biggest cheer of the night at that point.

The majority of the set list drew from his new album, tracks like ‘Comfortable’, ‘Horoscopes’, ‘Golden Age’ and ‘My Own Mystery’, with a few surprises thrown in the mix, like a cover of Hayden James’ ‘Numb’ which he did for Triple J’s Like A Version earlier this year, as well as a stirring version of Tia Gostelow’s ‘Strangers’ which he features on and impressively sang both parts. So many highlights from the night, “Holla” which has a brilliant dreamy danceable beat, had the fans grooving away. ‘twenty seven’ was another highlight. He shared with us the story behind it, with the anxiety around achievement and the pressures he placed on himself. Brilliant track!

He finished up with ‘Icarus’ which is the last track of the album, and probably one of the most sentimental tracks. He tells the story of how he proposed to his now wife with this song. He had included a choir for the tear jerking moment of the proposal on the album and the crowd was asked to play the part. And after a couple of practice runs they nailed it. It was so heart-warming, it made it hard to hold back tears. A beautiful moment and what a way to end the show. Brilliant!

‘twenty seven’ out now.


The DMA’s bring their British Influenced Rock to Melbourne

The DMA’s bring their British Influenced Rock to Melbourne

DMA’S – Live At The Forum 8th June.

The Forum in Melbourne was the perfect venue for Sydney trio DMAs to bring to life their British influenced indie rock

Ambling on stage without any fuss or fanfare, Thomas O’DellMatthew Mason and Johnny Took came on stage, soon to be joined by tour band members Joel Flyger on guitar, Thomas Crawles on bass and Liam Hoskins on drums. They launched straight into the explosive ‘Feels Like 37’ from their 2014’s self-titled debut EP, immediately reminding us of why so many people compared their music to Oasis.

Lead singer Thomas O’Dell was decked out in a peak cap, baggy pants, chequered shirt and jacket, a look that comes straight from the ‘Madchester’ baggy movement from the 90’s that swept through the UK (and spawned some of the best bands of the last 40 years. A sound that The DMAs have perfected and maybe, on occasions, even bettered.)

The next track they performed was ‘For Now’, from their glorious sophomore album of the same name, which got the crowd jumping!! They played a few more from their first album ‘Melbourne’, ‘Timeless ’ which were just beyond words. Each track got better and better!!

By the time they got to the dreamy track ‘In The Air’, the first single off the album, everyone in the crowd was singing along to every lyric. Thomas Supreme’s vocals were flawless and so rich and soulful it felt like it could break your heart.

The highlight of this intoxicating show for me was when they performed their debut single ‘Delete’ from their 2016 album ‘Hills End’. The crowd sang along with such gusto and passion that it sometimes drowned out O’Dells’ vocals. The music left a lump in my throat for its intense beauty, a moment that will be hard to shake off for some time to come!

O’Dell, mimicking Liam Gallagher with tambourine in hand and sparse dance moves, barely uttered a word to the crowd throughout the night, only with the occasional “Thank you” and choosing to let the music do all the talking, which was refreshing in its charm. Sometimes no words are needed when the music is so good!

8 tracks were chosen for airing from the more mature, infectious and utterly brilliant yet still very British sounding second album, ‘For Now’. and the encore saw them rip out 3 tracks from Hills End… ‘Play It Loud’, ‘In The Moment’ and ‘Lay Down’, which took the whole night to another level, band and audience as one as they sang themselves hoarse over the 1 and  ½ hour set.

This was a sensational, hair-raising gig and it was amazing that we got a chance to experience such a great moment in music history. If you haven’t heard or seen these guys perform live before, we highly recommend doing so or picking up an album. They will take you on an emotional journey that will stay with you for days – and this is how you want it to be!

DZ Deathrays shut down the crowd on their Bloody Lovely Tour!

DZ Deathrays shut down the crowd on their Bloody Lovely Tour!

Brisbane Rockers DZ Deathrays brought their Bloody Lovely national tour to a sold out 170 Russell. The venue was packed to the brim, with the fans pumped up and ready to rock out to one of Australia’s most exhilarating live acts. The floors were sticky with all the beers being thrown around the sweaty and rowdy Melbourne crowd.

Fellow Aussie bands Clowns, Beat Show and These New South Wales, all came along for the ride to be the support acts. These New South Wales stole the show, appearing topless on stage with tape over their nipples, whilst blazing their unusual post -punk industrial rock.

DZ Deathrays were scheduled for 11pm. By this time the crowd were sufficiently primed and ready for the headliners to perform. In fine rock ’n’ roll style, they jumped out onto the smoke-filled stage, with Shane Parsons screaming the foreboding ‘Shred for Summer’ which is the first track off ‘Bloody Lovely’.

As soon as the song started, the mosh hit full force, causing waves and almost crushing everyone to the front barriers! The energy was mental!! They left the crowd no time to lose energy, playing continual back to back crowd pumping tracks such as the boisterous ‘Bad Influence’ and ‘Guillotine’, which let Simon Ripley rock it out on the drums. Ripley is certainly an underrated drummer, but as far as rock bands go, they really don’t get much better than this.


Bloody Lovely dominated the set list, and for good reason too! Their songs have an ability to send you into a trance and cause you to either start thrashing into each other or crowd surf.

Throwing in some old classics for good measure, they finished off with “No Sleep” and crowd favourite “Dollar Chills” from their brilliant sophomore album “Bloodstream”. The crowd were drained by the end, dripping in sweat after the thrilling pure hard rock they had just witnessed, which grabbed you by the throat and never let up for an hour and a half. It was a killer gig and they are one of the most insane live bands we’ve seen thus far. DZ Deathrays are a band that pack a heavy punch that leave you bruised for days, but in a good way!

Imagine Dragons deliver a mesmerising performance in Melbourne

Imagine Dragons deliver a mesmerising performance in Melbourne

Imagine Dragons – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne 15th May

Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons, arrived at Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne on Tuesday 15th May for their Evolve world tour. They sauntered onto stage at 8:45, with lead singer Dan Reynolds decked out in an eye catching black tracksuit pants that were tucked into his white socks and runners. Bare chested, muscular and looking every bit like a gym instructor, not the rock star he is. He wooed the crowd with his energetic performance, prowling the stage like a caged tiger. With his Aerobic style dance moves, he had all the girls and most of the boys screaming for more at his every turn.

Kicking off the set was the scintillating “I Don’t Know Why?” first track on Evolve. We were already drawn to the opening drum beats, and knew it was going to be a blazing song and show.  Next up was “Believer”. This track went off and the whole stadium just buzzed in its energy. They whipped the crowd away into a frenzy with an old favourite “Its Time” from Night Visions, their debut.

The irresistible and every so catchy “Thunder” was among the many highlights, including a surprise haunting cover of Alphaville’s 1984 hit “Forever Young” with all phones lighting up the venue. It was a mesmerising sight.

Interrupting proceeding on a few occasions, Dan spoke passionately about matters close to the heart. The venue fell silent and hung onto this every word, explaining the subject matter of the latest album Evolve. You can definitely see and hear his heart and soul pouring out. It’s such a pleasure to witness such passion and love a person has for life and their music.

Imagine Dragons – What a faultless performance! Sounded great. Looked amazing and constantly left us wanting more, 1 ½ hrs flew by so fast! This band is incredible and one of the best live acts that we have seen. They brought the lightning and the thunder to our ears and one of the best concerts to be a part of. What a band! What an amazing show!!

Look forward to seeing them again.

Black Of Hearts.

Peter Hook & The Light

Peter Hook & The Light

Saturday 21st October Peter Hook and The Light brought the Melbourne leg of their world tour to a close with a pulsating 3 hour set of Joy Division magic. Kicking off with 1979’s brilliant debut ‘Unknown Pleasures’ before moving onto to the claustrophobic gothic rock of ‘Closer’ and finishing the set with tracks from the epic ‘Substance.’

Being in the same room and breathing the same air as the man that played such a pivotal role in creating such hauntingly beautiful melodies was not lost on the crowd as they stared up in awe of the bass playing genius. 3 hours flew by in a blink of an eye. Peter Hook & The Light brought the immense sound of alternative darkness that is Joy Division to life. At times if you closed your eyes you would swear it was Ian Curtis on that stage.

With son Jack also on bass the father and son duo thumped out the distinctive Joy Division bass lines to perfection!! Jack looked and played like a younger version of the great man himself, even down to his bass playing stance (slung forward bass hanging low) reminiscent of Hooky in his heyday. Such big boots to fill, and he did it without missing a beat!

There was not a New Order song to be heard, neither was there anything from Hooky’s side projects, Revenge or Monaco. This was purely a celebration of one of the best and most influential bands of the last 40 years.

In terms of highlights, there were too many to mention – the dedication of ‘Atmosphere’ to Ian a notable stand out, putting a lump in everyones throat. Absolute beautiful moment!

You would not believe that Hooky has been performing for close on 40 years, with his youthful energy and rock star moves you’d think he was just starting out, such was the enthusiasm and gusto with which he brought to his performance!

In closing, with a beaming smile and after a rousing rendition of the classic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, a shirtless Peter Hook threw his top into the crowd for some lucky female to take home as a souvenir. He sauntered off with a promise to return next year – giving us all something to look forward to!

A breathtaking performance!

Hooky you are a God!


Dystopia – A Dark Electronic Gathering

Dystopia – A Dark Electronic Gathering

DYSTOPIA: A Dark Electronic Gathering

Dystopia will bring together 8 spectacular Industrial/Dark Electronic/Gothic acts:


Originally from New South Wales. Shiv-r is an act that has now decided to call Melbourne home after being based in the UK for several years. They have delighted audiences in over 20 countries, after touring Europe, North America and Asia extensively. They have recently released a new album; Requiem for the Hyperreal, which features Cheshire Grin and Malediction.

Coffin Carousel

Classified as Punk Rock / Horror Punk / Doom Pop, Coffin Carousel is an exciting act on the verge of taking the gothic world by storm after recently signing with American label Eclipse Records. Coffin Carousel are used to blowing audiences minds with their uncompromising live performances. Their new album “Between Death and Dead” drops on Friday the 13th of October.


Based in Sydney, SNUFF are one of the most formidable Industrial acts Australia has to offer. Their music is a combination of industrial dance, trip hop and noise. They have been branded the lovechild of Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack.



Zen Robotic

Zen Robotic is a dark synth driven act that will get your body up and moving, while their deep, thought provoking lyrics will occupy your mind and soul.


Flat-Liner are a five piece industrial band who hold a sturdy position as the anti-everything, pioneers of audible debauchery and perverse originality. Watching them to wreak havoc is a pleasure to watch.

DJ Lobotomy

DJ Lobotomy is an alternative DJ who plays an integral part in Melbourne’s gothic/alternative scene. He’s been putting crowds into frenzied states from behind the decks for several years.


Increment is a Non DJ electronic act who creates progressive electronica through the use of keyboards and hardware devices. Expect a heavy industrial set.

Katherine Hymer

“The First Lady of Dark Pop” Katherine Hymer, intertwines Romantic melodic lines with dark and foreboding undertones.




Death Bells

Death Bells

The Curtain in Lygon Street, Carlton was the venue of Sydney based post-punk outfit The Death Bells to celebrate the launch of their full length debut album ‘Standing At The Edge Of The World’ following on from their self titled 6 track EP released in May last year.

Named after a Korean horror film, Death Bells was founded in 2015 from the ashes of a few failed punk/hardcore bands. They sound like a cross between The Smiths, Joy Division and New Order with The Cure and early 90’s influenced shoegazers thrown in the mix. Proving that the local indie scene is alive and well and thriving in Australia!

The Death Bells took to the stage at 11.30pm like true rock stars and grabbed the audience by the throat and never let up for an hour. Fronted by Will, with his movie star good looks his brooding intense performance captivated the crowd with track after track of dark, gloomy post-punk dreampop perfection, with the highlight being their performance of their brilliant recent single, Only You.

The bleeding ears we all experienced at the end was small price to pay, every one in the crowd walked away knowing they had just witnessed the start of something huge!


The album is released through Burning Rose/Funeral Party Records and if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned or you love music that will break your heart,(lets face it who doesn’t) then go out and grab a copy of this epic album you wont regret it!