Filthy Lucre, Silent Duck and Rat Ta’Mango

Live at Jive, Adelaide SA, Saturday 30th January 2016

The doors opened on Saturday evening at Jive to a hoard of hard rock fans eager to celebrate the release of Filthy Lucre’s debut full-length album Mara. As the venue started to fill, the first tasty band prepared to warm up the crowd for what was to come…

Getting things moving was local Adelaide psych-rock band Rat Ta’Mango. Having seen this band name previously around town, I was intrigued to hear them live and to put a sound to that peculiar name. I was impressed and satisfied by the bluesy tones that echoed throughout Jive and got the early birds moving on the dance floor.

Smack bang in the middle of the night was a quirky, quacky 6-peice band called Silent Duck. Full of unique humor, funky riffs and brassy horns, Silent Duck impressed throughout their forty-minute set. The crowd banter and vocal performance provided by ‘Sexman’ was on fire. I instantly noticed Frank Zappa type influences; the mix of horn section and rock ‘n’ roll music, with spoken vocals splashed here and there was aesthetically pleasing and quite progressive in many respects.

Silent Duck 30-1-2016Silent Duck  showcased their brassy funk-rock tunes.

To round off the night satisfying everyone’s burning desire to hear the tastiest, most blistering and intense riffs of all time, Filthy Lucre took to the stage. Vowing to play every song off the new album, I knew we were in for a treat.

Filthy Lucre is made up of Luke Marsh on guitars, cigars and vocals and Ed Noble on drums and percussion. This band only has two members but manages to create a huge sound; I am surprised and impressed every time, especially when I hear the cigar-box guitar put into action. It is full and in your face, making you stand up and move to the music.

From beginning to end Filthy Lucre brought the big guns, fat, chunky riffs were flying all around Jive. The energy was high on stage and off stage, with many fans in the crowd moshing and jumping around to the music hitting our ears. I’m pretty sure that drummer Ed Noble, was standing up for most of the gig!

All I could think of at the end of the night was how fortunate I am to have experienced such a powerful and memorable performance from Filthy Lucre. I had never seen such excitement and vigor in the local scene, the crowd was giving back the intense energy that they were receiving from the performers. It was a positive night full of sleazy, dirty rock music and Filthy Lucre were the stars.

As the night came to a close, I felt excited because I couldn’t wait to hear Mara, the album I was holding in my hands. I hoped that the sheer, exhilarating live performance of Filthy Lucre would be translated onto the studio record and the thick, fat tones would be captured for all to hear. I guess I will have to listen and find out… for the love of music.

Filthy Lucre 30-1-20156A solid riff-rock performance by Filthy Lucre made Jive go crazy.

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The Sword – ‘High Country’

Released 21st August 2015

I recently picked up the fifth studio album, High Country, from Texan rockers The Sword. Right from the first track I knew I was in for a ride as The Sword took me down a fresh, laid-back path less travelled on by this previously heavier metal band. Having said that, there are still epic riffs and fat jams as expected to appease any Sword fan!

The album kicks off with a short introductory piece in the form of ‘Unicorn Farm’. I was immediately intrigued and greeted with a big synthesized sound and a comfortable groove, preparing me for what was to come. ‘Unicorn Farm’ seamlessly transitions into ‘Empty Temples’ where classic Sword vibes are felt by all, there is riffage, John D. Cronise’s characteristic vocal tone and full humbucker guitar heaven brought to you by Kyle Shutt. Before you know it you’re banging your head along to the rocking jams that are gracing the speakers.

High Country continues with many highlights with songs ‘High Country’, ‘Tears Like Diamonds’ and the instrumental ‘Suffer No Fools’. Then we come to ‘Early Snow’, which stood out as showcasing The Sword’s new artistic direction. Ending with melodies complimentary of a horn section, and incorporating signature guitar harmonies throughout, I was dancing around to the sophisticated and punchy horn lines. The funky rock drums provided by Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III filled out the song and created memorable music.

The second half of High Country progresses with fresh tunes such as ‘Silver Petals’. This particular piece of music demonstrates another side to The Sword, emotional, deep and reflective. The use of acoustic guitar, provided by bassist Bryan Richie, is an effective textural touch that effortlessly compliments the overall arrangement.

Before too long the rock ‘n’ roll album that is High Country comes to an end with a catchy, killer number called ‘The Bees of Spring’. Just when you thought The Sword couldn’t serve up anymore big, fat riffs, they hit you with the knockout. With strong southern-rock influences, it is a powerful, commanding end to a lovable album.

Right from that moment, I get up to put the needle back to the start of the first disc, longing to hear more of those classic Sword riffs that fans have come to love. What is beautiful about High Country is that The Sword have shown a softer side to their music, this album is more rock than metal, and it sounds amazing. They have not compromised and are still the same hard rockin’ band they have always been. I recommend having a listen for the love of music and discovering the progressing, matured sound of a mind-blowing band.

The Sword - High Country cover 8-10-2015 The Sword - High Country record 8-10-2015