Live: Djanimals + Kyu + Domeyko/Gonzalez
I’ve put this off for far too long, so I’m just going to grit my teeth and knuckle down. I hope that this isn’t the harshest review ever written, so here goes…
I went to this gig at Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst last Thursday night to check out Djanimals , Kyu and Domeyko/Gonzalez.
I walked into the joint and was literally hit in the face by a behemoth cloud of stage smoke – maybe someone had forgotten to turn the machine off? As I peered through the smoke, I was welcomed with the friendly sight of an extensively assorted bar. There were some really cheerful staff; I think I was approached by and chatted to by the doorman, the bar staff and the security guards numerous times throughout the night – it was very pleasant.
The clouds parted, and after a long time waiting, Domeyko/Gonzalez walked onto the stage. They began with a piercing shrill into the mic that was echoed, reverbed, distorted, layered and whatever else – all. At. Once. I must say, whilst I really appreciate ‘experimental’ music, I felt completely boxed in listening to these guys. It seemed as though they were building layer upon layer on their music and there was no release from noise; no break in the music for melody or peace. It was very full on. Take Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Cure, Trent Reznor, a bottle of Jim Beam, and a mental illness, put them all in a pillow case and then bash yourself over the head with it… The feeling that you get is probably the most accurate way of describing how they ‘felt’. Their set consisted of a sequence; no single tracks, so it would probably make good soundtrack music.
Saying this, they knew their chromatic scales particularly well, used a huge range of instruments (at once point, one of the boys went absolutely crazy pressing buttons and playing bass at the same time – which was entertaining to look at) and really pushed their instruments to the max – I think it’s safe to say that they have potential and the boys know their own ability. If I was to make one suggestion that might ‘heal’ things a bit, I would suggest that they ‘thin it out’ a bit – the performance was entertaining but it was very full on; my head felt as though it was going to explode from an overload of sound. I didn’t care much for their stage performance either – at once point they both completely disregarded the crowd and disappeared onto the floor for what seemed like five minutes to play with their effects pedals…
Kyu was the second support, and I was way too excited to see them – like, whoa. With a flawless and entertaining set, they didn’t disappoint. They surrounded themselves with floor-toms, pianos and glocks – at one point during their set they were both playing numerous instruments simultaneously, some percussive and some melodic – totally crazy. These two girls both have incredible voices that I would liken to Dolores O’Riordan (lead singer of The Cranberries) and Bjork – their use of melisma and glissando was perfect (the sort of vocal techniques you would hear in Arabic music – but coolerer, and less creepy).
For one of their songs, they used ‘themselves’ as percussive instruments – they beat on their chest like gorillas. I’m not sure if they were doing it for dramatic or musical effect, but it left them with this fat red mark on their chests; it was a bit off the chain. These two obviously take their music very seriously as I could tell that it had undergone a fine ‘tweaking’ and perfecting process. It was smoothly transitioned, and the two girls were very humble about their work – which was a breath of fresh air. Kyu is a MUST SEE!
After a long long while, the main decided to grace us with their presence. As far as intros go, this was a very, very long introduction – in fact, the whole set was very drawn out. The intro consisted of two chords played over… And over… And over…
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to say about Djanimal‘s performance that is good. The vocals were terrible – for starters I don’t think the vocalist knew how to use a mic properly, and this gave their whole performance a really amateur feel to it. Someone should tell him that you need to stay the same distance away from the mic otherwise you get louder and softer depending – and it’s really annoying to listen to. The lyrics were minimalistic and, well, not very good… There was way too much smoke on stage again so it was hard to see the boys as they did their thing, but from what I could hear – the music was alright.
Djanimals have a good concept – they’re sorta like Aussie rising star Dan Kelly crossed with Butthole Surfers and Tame Impala. To be honest and (hopefully) constructive, Djanimals has been done before – I don’t think that they’re bringing anything new to the scene; maybe besides some really cool effects. I felt myself sitting on the edge of my seat the whole night waiting for that killer track, that killer melody… Just waiting and waiting… And waiting some more… Until it didn’t come.
The boys put on a good show; like, it wasn’t unbearable, but at the same time it was a little bit boring. Please people, I’m incredibly picky with my music and just because Djanimals didn’t do anything for me doesn’t mean that they’re a bad band. They’ve come quite a far way and people do show up to their gigs, so they’re definitely worth their salt – maybe just an off day? I hope I’m being a little bit constructive, not just a complete bitch…
Overall, I’m going to have to give this gig a measly 2/10. Sorry guys.
Originally written for www.theaureview.com