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LIVE: Front End Loader – Perth, 12 May, 2018

| 21 May 2018 | Reply

LIVE: Front End Loader – Perth, 12 May, 2018
The Boston, Northbridge
Review and photo by Brian Dunne

The Stanleys played before Front End Loader and it’s getting past the point when I know what irony even is anymore. Dude was wearing a Guns n’ Roses t-shirt and I genuinely couldn’t tell whether this was ironical or not, but the music seemed to give it away: it didn’t seem too ironic. The Stanleys are from Perth, West Australia, but they tend not to play here very often. Their first ever shows were in the US and the band has subsequently toured there a further seven times and have also toured in Europe a number of times. They do indeed sound like a generic kind of West Coast band, harder than pop but it’s not metal.

So Front End Loader come on and they sound quite perfect. They announce their first song of the set, Receptor Antagonist from their latest album Neutral Evil, as their only dance song but that’s not really true and the FEL sound just piles on from there. When I say “piles on” it doesn’t pile on quite like it used to. The band is not as heavy as they were, however becoming more mellow occasionally improves a band. It does so for Front End Loader.

I was honestly and happily surprised at how pop sounding Front End Loader are now, they have become pleasant to listen to which was not necessarily the case in the past. Front End Loader gigs were always fun but often they were more mosh than music. I’ve never worn earplugs to a gig and I suspect I never will, tinnitus be damned, yet previous FEL gigs typically required some sort of mediation between the noise the band were making and what was hitting you in the ears. Alcohol helped cushion the blows.

Front End Loader are celebrating their twenty fifth year together and by together I do mean twenty five years with the same four guys. One of the main differences between these guys and younger bands is that they’ve spent that much time on the boards that their between song banter, when they are retuning or repairing something, that they are actually funny and entertaining.

Much of tonight’s set came from new album Neutral Evil and all of it stands up to the band’s older hits – which seem to sound better than they ever have. Hits such as Pulse and Weak As Piss also got an airing, naturally.

Front End Loader songs have always shone but that warm glow was often lost in the noise. These days Front End Loader are absolutely enjoyable, they cannot quite yet be described as pop though they are not far short of it. The rock still rocks and the pop? Well, that pops.

Shane

Category: Live Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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