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LIVE – THE MARK OF CAIN, Perth, 17 March 2013

| 11 April 2013 | Reply

Amplifier Bar, Perth, Western Australia
Sunday, March 17, 2013
By Shane Pinnegar

Mark Of Cain 1

In fitting with THE MARK OF CAIN’s often militaristic lyrics, John & Kim Scott (guitar/vocals and bass, respectively) and new touring drummer (something like the 15th person to occupy that position!) Eli Green executed a blitzkrieg assault on the sardine-packed Amplifier Bar with a frontal attack on all the senses, the intense belligerence of their pummelling tunes hitting the crowd between their collective eyes, whilst the melodies and thoughtful lyrics crept up and entranced both old and new fans.

That such an impressive crowd came out on not only a Sunday, but on St Patrick’s Day to provide an oasis of relief from the shambolic drunken shenanigans happening pretty much everywhere else around town, was testament to the high esteem TMOC are held in by fans of their Nineties heyday when they were all over Triple J like a rash.

With a stunning new album – Songs Of The Third And The Fifth – out a few months ago, TMOC proved that they have never sold out, never compromised or diluted the essence of who they are as a band, and that has engendered a respect which goes both from the audience to the band and back again.

They don’t talk much – hell, they don’t smile much – this is intense music, delivered with brutal precision and power.  John Scott occasionally takes a slug from a bottle of Grolsch, but apart from that it’s all business.

Heads bang and bodies gyrate and throw themselves about to Scott’s insurgent riffs and vocals, and brother Kim’s pulsating and punishing bass is possibly the heaviest bottom end sound since Geezer Butler first strapped on a four-string.

The sheer intensity with which half the crowd thrashed their heads to Second Hander, (R) Retaliate, Interloper, The Contender and LMA, and without a moment’s pause to new tracks Milosevic, Separatist and Avenger to name but a few, indicated there would be some sore necks the following morning, and edging inch by inch through the throbbing crowd towards the conveniences was a crab-walking exercise in SAS tactics and logistics.

By the encore the crowd are so sweaty and lost in the TMOC madness that they throw themselves into one last frenzy of headbanging for Battlesick and a couple of sneaky stage dives to evoke the spirit of the JJJ years, and closer Pointman might just be the most intense thing we’ve ever heard or seen since Rage Against The Machine in the prime.  The song judders to a jarring full stop just as the pit starts to lose all control, but very few dissipate, perhaps shell shocked from the bludgeoning force of the past 90 minutes.

Finally relaxed grins reflect the triumph of the gig on the band’s faces and a simple but honest “Thankyou, it’s been great” is shared before they depart.  Let’s hope it won’t be another decade before a return visit.

Originally published in Xpress Magazine’s 20 March 2013 Issue

Category: Live Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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