Touring midway though recording an album is always going to be a hard task. The songs are new and prone to change, have yet to be tested out on any audience, let alone fans, and it’s a much more difficult to fit it into the setlist if you don’t even know where it fits on an album yet. So it’s always a kind of leap of faith situation for both fans and the band itself. It takes a tonne of strength and willpower to even think about propelling yourself off that ledge. So when I heard The Preatures sold out Corner show was in response to an album not quite finished yet I had to wonder to myself. Would the five piece land safely past the cliff-face, or would they become Homer Simpson in that one episode where he jumps the gorge (much like my super topical reference right there).

But a jump like this can only be made with a run up, and kick starting the thrust was Melbourne band Gunn. And to tell you the truth, it’s bands like Gunn that are the hardest to write about. There’s nothing terribly wrong with them but there’s nothing that stands out. There are two kinds of song that come to your head when the words ‘indie rock’ are mentioned. Gunn play the song that doesn’t feel like a country band. It’s the equivalent of landing on free parking in Monopoly when there’s no money in the middle of the board. Still, the band had fun with what they play, joking with each other onstage and not even trying to hide their grins. It just felt like there should have been more.

Bad//Dreems, the next band to try to get the ball rolling, had a little more luck. Coming out to a banging opener while they danced like it was the time of their lives, it was hard not to get affected by the hype those first five minutes brought. The brutal onslaught onstage snared everyone’s eyes and tied them to the stage. It was a pity that it didn’t really seem to go anywhere from there. Suddenly the songs all started to mash together, and the guys seemed clueless as to what to do with everyone watching. Well, other than bassist James Bartold, who’s getting into the groove might have been the best thing about the night.

At last it was time for The Preatures’ long awaited entrance. The five piece’s 70’s throwback sound that shot them into cult status is only exaggerated by just how much they look the part. There was a roar of excitement from The Corner’s sold out crowd, and the band clearly ate it up, especially during single ‘Manic Baby’. But by the first of the newer tracks, The Preatures seemed a little full up, with bloated riffs floating around the room. It’s incredibly brave for an act to play during recording time for exactly this reason and most of the newer material hit a little bit of a lull.

But everything has exceptions, and the exceptional ‘Two Tone Melody’ shows just that. Reworked from the demo released a few weeks back, there was a weirdly dark atmosphere that The Preatures had yet to explore to it. It’s still catchy as hell and filled with energy, but it’s got an unfamiliar feeling that the band pull of ridiculously well. Sadly it came too little too late. The band closed with their 2013 hit ‘Is This How You Feel?’ before returning with ‘Pick A Card’, which the audience had apparently been craving based on the sudden spike in intensity. Overall, The Preatures new music shows promise, so long as they can pull themselves back to land.

Cleatus Glob

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