Today we will spend a moment reviewing the awesome gig last night from The Corner Hotel, a stalwart establishment of the Melbourne music scene, which brought two signature hardcore acts from the USA in Stick To Your Guns and Being As An Ocean. This concert with no doubt provided short yet intense set list’s, charged with positive lyrics, endless energy and electrifying movement across the stage and throughout the venue.
The opening band, Cast Down, a hardcore band from Melbourne, delivered a strong opening performance, earning their spot for the show. A bunch of young band members enjoying what they do, translating well into their straightforward aggressive attitude. This combined with a few killer riffs throughout their set list.
Next band up was Hindsight, a melodic hardcore quintet from Adelaide. The band demonstrated a strong blend of melodic hardcore, musicianship and a huge vocal presence. Their style changes built into unexpected rhythms and tones from a hardcore act but provided some huge energy for their lead up role.
Now Being As An Ocean, a post-hardcore act with huge range and the band include this in their sound. With melodies that transition through slow, harmonious to outright brutal interludes strewn across their set. Lyrically, the band conveyed through the huge voice of founding member and lead vocalist Joel Quartuccio and guitarist/vocalist Michael McGough who build on the major lyrical concepts of hope and forgiveness, life and compassion.
Being as an Ocean’s post hardcore act with a solid foot in the melodic style giving the world access to their killer track Dissolve that was a big number for the setlist with many singalongs from fans. Being as an Ocean provided another amazing track in L’exquisite douleur with its ebb and flow style between vocalists, intertwined and perfect reliance of light and shade. Lead singer Quartuccio was walking amongst the crowd showing quality showmanship and interaction for the fans on multiple occasions and then finishing with the incredible ruthless track to finish with The Hhardest Part is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget and with another lap of the crowd and a fist bump to yours truly.
Then almost immediately as Being as an Ocean left the stage, with an immediately building crowd, space disappearing, the anticipation and capacity escalating. Fans make it clear about who they came to see with the droves of Stick To Your Guns merchandise floating around the crowd. Then blackness fills the stage and the show begins with the intensity and fierce vocalist Jesse Barnett who exemplifies the hardcore style. To describe his style, Jesse is an awe-inspiring man paired with wise, poetic and philosophical mindset. Straight away the band branches into their first song “3 Feet From Peace, and then into the supercharged crowd favorite hit that is “Married to the Noise” off the new album ‘True View’, which is reinforced by immediate vigor over the mosh pit, as bodies moved in sync to the crushing riffs.
At such as early segment in the performance many first time viewers of the band, myself included, are in awe of the bands performance, with their stage presence and synchronous guitarist jumps only further solidify the bands flow and relationship with each other. Pacing from side to side like a caged animal released for 3 minutes at a time Jesse Barnett is a beast of a front man, storming through a strong 15 plus song setlist in their passionate 60-minute set. Between the penetrating and powerful songs came short breaks for inspiring and brief statements about the world around us and our part in it and a statement on his recent “shoey” at UNIFY. From this the next songs roll off the bat flawlessly and just send the crowd back into mayhem. What Choice Did You Give Us?, We Still Believe, You Are Free and Such Pain
The next section Jesse described The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: “Penance of Self as a song about reflection, not self-loathing but a guide to better behaviour. This followed another short break to state how thankful the band was to come back and to continue their work and to be a part of a world full of opportunity. Their closing half of the night ran with Nothing You Can Do to Me, Doomed By You and The Suspend, which was dedicated to his Mother and how she taught him life lessons about being a man and a person.
Stick To Your Guns are a band using philosophically infused lyrics and a vocalist who is wise beyond his years clearly with a pleasing comment about dedication to the music and its impact, and how Australia deserves an applause for finally voting in for equality. One of the final closing tracks for the night was the bands ‘classic’, Amber, with every word sung along to and only described as, three and a half minutes of raw passion, simply crushing!
If you have not had the pleasure of seeing these bands live, make sure you get out there next time or catch them on their remaining dates. Stick To Your Guns and Being As An Ocean have endless talent and so many songs that couldn’t be given their full descriptive respect in this article, don’t believe me, go check out a few of the albums!
There’s still a couple of shows left on this tour, get your tickets HERE!
Photography by Dylan Martin