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Emerald City 5th Birthday Bash – Rosemount Hotel, Perth – Saturday 2 June 2012

| 14 September 2012 | Reply

With Psychonaut, Nymph Honey and Sisters Doll
By Gazman Campbell
Photography by Awakening Vixen Photography

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good rock & roll birthday party & this one was exactly that !!!

First band to blow everyones candles was 3 young brothers from Collie – Brennan, Austin & Bryce – glam rockers on a mission, Sisters Doll. My 3rd trip to the “Doll House” this year & as much as I’m NOT a glam rocker, these guys never fail to impress. Sure they wear make up & get around tarted up like a bunch of 80’s Kings Cross drag queens, but the thing that shines through is that they can actually play & they do put on a good show.

Since winning Ampfest the brothers have gone from strength to . . . . even more strength, supporting Fly The Flag with Angry, Swanee, Kevin Borich etc, Australia day in Rockingham. They stuck to their original guns tonight with one exception, a rousing version of Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City” & played songs from their just released album “Welcome To The Dollhouse”. Given that Doll House need to be chaperoned to most of their gigs (the oldest member being 19), you can forgive a little immaturity in the lyrics but they make up for this with good tunes & an undeniable energy coupled with a humble belief that they are on there way to becoming the biggest glam rock band on the planet, & if what I’ve seen this year is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years from now, they’ll be just that or at least well on their way.

Sisters Doll are the sort of band that are a guilty pleasure for the rock purists, a dance floor filler for the ladies (or gents) & a “Yeah, they’re alright” from the black t-shirt brigade at the bar. If you haven’t seen them yet I suggest you do coz I don’t think they’re going to be here for very long. Onwards & upwards. Check out Youtube SISTERS DOLL: Dollhouse (Official Music Video Clip) for a taste.

This was the 2nd time this weekend I’d had the pleasure of seeing Nymph Honey (the first being with Stone Circle – Return to Rock) & they were better than the night before which, for those that saw them Friday night would know, was no easy feat. Very much in the modern guitar pop/rock vain or as they like to say “Melodic Rock with heart and feeling”, this was a gig that saw them rocking a little harder than the night before. Although backed by a credible bunch of muso’s Steve, Sean & Karl performing in a tigh & professional manner, this is Rob Walkers’ band. A charismatic front man with a voice that sits perfectly with the songs & a magnetism that has all eyes on him.

Rather than just play a song like they’re in a hurry to get to the bar, these guys have a way with dynamics that impressed this reviewer. The light & shade was tangible during their short stint & when the rest of the band left Rob on his own, the intensity didn’t wane. Though I felt the boys could have hung around for the first solo effort, it was still delivered with conviction while the 2nd song was better suited to a soloist.

There is a passion burning in this band that few others can match. Even a slightly out of the blue moment with a cover of “Keep Me Hangin’ On” failed to dampen the the spirits. Keep an ear out for the single “Because I Don’t Love You”, which for my ears isn’t that indicative of what they are, & something a bit longer around January.

Being a “Psychonautic Virgin”, I knew only to expect one thing, METAL !!! & I got it. From the outset, it was loud, in ya face, ball busting METAL. Not a bad thing for a guy raised on Motorhead, Sabbath, Maiden, Dio etc. Though these guys had ticked a few more columns on the modern side of the metal ledger, they were none the less a tight, cohesive unit (even if one member thought it was a bit sloppy !!! ). Starting at break-neck speed & rarely letting up, the band took us on a tour through their back catalogue of stuff from years gone by to their later repertoire.


Refreshingly, not all the vocals sounded like they came from a little blue guy that lives on a street we all knew as kids but most were delivered in a melodic tone that helped to get the lyrics across (yes, to me, that’s refreshing) even if, given the twin guitar assault, there wasn’t a lot of harmony happening vocally or axe wise.

Citing influences such as Mercyful Fate, Motorhead & Slayer, it’s easy to see where these thrash masters are comin from. I get the feeling that one listen to their album “Shock ‘Em Dead“ would doubtlessly back this up. Featuring Mark on guitar & vocals, “Metal” Mike on Shred duties & an arse kicking rhythm section , Simon on bass & Luke on speed drums, Psychonaut deserve their reputation as underground shred-heads to be reckoned with. I was going to listen to their first offering “Masters of Procrastination” but thought I’d save that for another review !!! If thrash is your thing, then Psychonaut may be as well.

The birthday boys came to play & play they did. If you’ve never seen Emerald City, think the Poison, Crue type hard rock/hair metal of the 80’s & you’re in the ball park. Playing a selection of songs old(ish) & new, Em City were in fine form this night. Giving us a glimpse of what they been doing together in the studio since the release of “Unleashed”, Sal, Joe, Nick, Simon & Frank The Tank celebrated this auspicious occasion with one of the best performances I’ve seen from them since first witnessing their flair & presence at the Destiny’s Bridge show at The Fly a few years back. Songs like “Not Ready For Love”, “Dare To Be Different” & “Our Little Secret”, all from Unleashed were played with conviction & style while the newer songs – & there were a few – sounded as though the guys have been doing them for years.

Given that much of the local street press (this fine publication excepted) continually ignore this band & many of their ilk, my hope is that one day Emerald City will make them eat their lack of words & starve in the process. In the meantime, you can be sure that this energetic & fun band will keep plugging away, making more great rock songs, more fans & more discs for us to enjoy as they go &, hopefully garnering support from those that can give it.

Category: Live Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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