Published in Drum Media (WA) | 10.01.13 | Issue # 320
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, UNWRITTEN LAW & THE DUDESONS
19 December, 2012
Putting their bodies, and dignity, on the line, Finland’s The Dudesons welcomed a slowly filling Metro with an array of cringe-worthy stunts that made the cast of Jackass look like amateurs. An unorthodox opening act, their set was exactly what you would see on TV. Highlights included a human dartboard, thumbtack trampoline and a segment in which attractive young females were rounded up from the audience (later taken backstage) and had postcards stapled to their arses. It’s amazing how much pain the human body will withstand for royalty and riches.
Already having ventured to Australia earlier (last) year for Soundwave, Unwritten Law’s presence on the bill seemed to lack the crowd enthusiasm they have received on previous visits. Whether it was because people already had their yearly fill of the Californian punk rock quartet or the fact frontman Scott Russo, after punching the band’s old guitarist, is now the only original member, the UL crowd just wasn’t going as crazy as they have previously. With that said, since the new line-up made their debut at Soundwave, they’ve ironed out all the kinks and it’s clear Russo picked the perfect replacements. Alongside staples Up All Night, Teenage Suicide, Seein’ Red and Cailin was a cover of Grinspoon’s More Than You Are, followed soon after with Save Me (co-written by Grinner’s Phil Jamieson) featuring Russo singing out of key to close the set.
With a venue at less than full capacity (you’d never know looking at drink sales), Venice, California skate punkers Suicidal Tendencies kicked things off with the very fitting You Can’t Bring Me Down. Despite the ample free space in the room and amount of arms folded, there was no way the band were ending the last show of their tour on a downer. Vocalist Mike Muir seemed a bit under the weather, occasionally ducking behind the guitar amp to gargle something, but still put on the energetic show he’s known for. Unfortunately, wailing guitar feedback drowned out his usual inspirational between-song banter. Bassist Tim Williams had ample opportunities under the spotlight also, and was just as commanding; his finger-blurring performance would have made all other musicians in the room uncomfortable with envy and develop an inferiority complex.
Crowd favourites Institutionalized, Possessed To Skate, Trip At The Brain and War Inside My Head transformed the crowd into a security nightmare, and closer, Pledge saw a sea of fans wrestle their way on stage until the band was so diluted it was hard to spot them. If punk is dying, there’s no way in hell Suicidal Tendencies are going down without a fight.
Written by Daniel Cribb