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The Growl: Sat, April 20 @ Ric’s Bar, Brisbane

Words by Scenewave Oz - Published on April 28, 2013

So far in 2013 Perth 6-piece, The Growl, toured Australia and throughout the US/Canada opening for Tame Impala, and have now embarked on a headlining tour of Straya’s capital cities (with shows still to come in Melbourne and Adelaide) on the back of the release of their debut album early April. The Growl have also recently cited by NME as one of Australia’s acts to watch in 2013. The tiny front room of Ric’s Bar on Brunswick Street played host to the two seriously loud performances on Saturday night.

The first act was apparently a stripped back version of band Elegant Shiva, performed acoustic and solo by the front man of the two-piece, Tree.  Who ironically did stand at least 100”9. I didn’t know one man, a 12 string and a stomp box could make so much noise. Definitely fit in with the nature of The Growl. He even snuck in a cheeky cover of MJ’s “Billy Jean” which he disguised and made his own.

The Growl took to the stage almost straight after Tree, getting stuck in very quickly. The overwhelming presence that The Growl possesses on stage is super infectious and had the crowd in motion from the get go with their industrial-machine like progressions. The confident booming voice of front man, Cameron Avery (also the drummer for Pond) is backed by a set of ghostly sounding keys, a guitarist lost in his rhythmic, reverberating groove, a deep rumbling double (sex) base and of course… what every band needs… 2 full drum kits! It kind of stamps what The Growl is all about. Noise x2. They even had a trash can in there for one of the drummers to belt the S$#@ out of.

Kicking off with Avery’s smoothly-scratchy, resonating vocals over a walking baseline, track 1 of their What Would Christ Do?? album. They then proceeded to confuse the heads of the crowd, not knowing whether to bob and groove with the heavy blues rock vibe, or test out the old neck muscles and head bang when the rest of the band were unleashed in a distorted/reverberating wall of sound.

They belted out a cracking set, playing a few of their older songs mixed with a few quieter numbers (if you can call them quiet) along with their catchy singles “Clever Lever” and “Liarbird”, which have had a few plays on the J’s recently. They also pulled out an extended version of Depeche Mode’s “John the Revelator” featuring a distorted harmonica, which I’m sure like I did, had everyone leaving the bar yelling the lyrics at the top of their lungs. (Listen to the song and you’ll understand).

Overall, a seriously energetic and pulsating performance. The album is well worth a listen, showcasing their somewhat diverse repertoire of sounds. And if you get a chance, go see these guys live… Infectious.

Keep your ear to the ground for big things this year and go check them out at Splendour in the Grass 2013!

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