Photos by Aidan Griffith


On a cold, wet, Canberra evening hometown heroes Hands Like Houses (HLH) commence their national tour for their latest LP, ‘Anon.’ As I arrived at the University of Canberra for doors, I was welcomed by the unsurprising view of a poor turnout. I’m not sure what it is about Canberra but it seems very difficult to get the punters out to live shows, even when the headliner is a quality hometown product!


Entering the venue I joined a small crowd gathered for the first act, electro-rock four piece RedHook. This was the first time that I have heard or seen this band and I must say I was underwhelmed. Delivery was poor and the mix didn’t push forward the electronic aspects of their music that from listening to a few of their singles the day after seem like it would have helped immensely. The Sydney band’s short set traversed a number of their new singles and a cover Limp Bizkit’sBreak Stuff’ to try (unsuccessfully) to get the crowd moving.


Enter Endless Heights to hopefully save the day. The Sydney rockers have been on an upward trajectory since their latest LP ‘Vicious Pleasures’ receiving some solid airtime on Australia’s premier radio station, Triple J. The airtime has clearly paid off with the crowd growing scattered with Endless Heights merchandise. Gracing the stage after a slow start from the sound-desk, the band walk on to ‘Taste It’ before ripping straight into ‘You Coward’. Lead vocalist Joel Martorana got the crowd involved early, encouraging people to join the pit and partake in sing-alongs to favourite ‘Come A Little Closer’. While always promising, I have found the band a little lacklustre on tape but in my first time seeing these guys live, they were huge – especially in their penultimate song for the night ‘Run’ that brought an intensity not seen for the rest of the set culminating in a massive breakdown. I’m certainly keen to see more of these guys live!


The OddWorld Collective has been busy lately! The band made the huge announcement that lead vocalist Luke Holmes and guitarist Jimmy Hall would no longer form part of Ocean Grove (OG), and welcoming new bassist Twiggy Hunter. The announcement carried some potentially huge ramifications for the OG, losing the unique vocal delivery and lyricism offered by Holmes, a focal point for the band across their releases to date. We also received a taste of the band’s new path with the ‘Skinny Five’ releasing ‘Ask For The Anthem’ – a track with no screams or heavy riffs leaning toward an alt pop route. This evenings’ show was the first time to see what this new line-up could do.

Opening with their latest track as mentioned above, the OG quickly showed they have lost none of the energy they once had! Handing the bass to Hunter, new front man Dale Tanner showed a new freedom, bouncing around the stage getting the crowd hyped. The four piece showed it’s first cracks in their next two songs, ‘Glass Gloss’ and ‘Intimate Alien’, with Tanner struggling to deliver the rapped verses in the same aggressive style we are accustomed to. This feeling was short lived as the band moved to grungy rock anthems, ‘Mr Centipede’, ‘Wrong Way’ and ‘Stratosphere Love’. Tanner’s stunning voice is showcased in these songs with a solid foundation delivered from the punchy riffs of Matthew Henley and exceptional drumming of Sam Bassal. We had tastes of these rock anthems on the ‘Rhapsody Tapes’ but expect the next LP to be jammed packed with them!

Having personal relationships with a couple of the boys from HLH for a long time, I’ve followed the band closely over their 10 year career, enjoying their development into a truly solid group of musicians. Tonight, they celebrate the release of their new album ‘Anon.’ which takes the band away from their post-hardcore routes to more experimental rock jams. Jumping straight into the set, the five piece kick off with LP opener ‘Kingdom Come’ before making the crowd flood toward the stage going wild for the Triple J favourite, ‘Monster’.

The Canberra rockers laid out a set littered with classics from the majority of their back catalogue including ‘Drift’, ‘Division Symbols’, ‘No Parallels (unbridled)’ and latest single ‘Sick’. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the band play two of their slower tracks from their new album, ‘Through Glass’ and ‘Half Hearted’ that got the crowd dancing from barrier all the way to the merch desk. Hearing this set showed how there is such a perfect balance of complimentary parts to this band – the incredible register of vocalist Trenton Woodley, the meticulous guitar work of shred lord Matt Cooper, the groove laid down by bassist Joel Tyrrell and the rippling rhythm provided by guitarist Alex Pearson and Matt Parkitny on drums to assure your head will bang.

The band closed the night with a string of songs from their last LP, ‘Dissonants’ including ‘New Romantics’, ‘Colourblind’ and my personal favourite ‘I Am’. These tracks are still some of the bands’ strongest works to date and the crowd response reaffirmed this view. I know we are in a time that re-inventing your sound is the ‘in thing’, but I sure hope HLH continue to write some of these post-hardcore bangers from time to time.

All in all, the show was a good night – if you want to catch these bands, there’s still time! Check out their remaining dates below.

Friday, 15th February
The Tivoli, Brisbane
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 16th February
The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 22nd February
HQ Complex, Adelaide
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 23rd February*
Astor Theatre, Perth
Tickets: Official Website

* Endless Heights not appearing

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