12 Apr SMILE’s ‘Rhythm Method’ LP launch, live at The Gasometer Hotel (8/4/16)
Words by Dec Gleeson // Photos by Jasper van Daatselaar
A small but enthusiastic crowd were being thoroughly entertained by Great Outdoors as I entered the Gasometer Hotel for what was a sold out launch of SMILE’s much anticipated second LP ‘Rhythm Method’. Frontman Zacary Schneiders vocal qualities were on full display as I took up a prime position on the second floor balcony. I was in the perfect spot to bear witness to an eclectic mixture of bands, brought together by their undoubtable talent and vast potential.
The crowd began to stream in as Good Morning took the stage, being the first time I had seen them perform since becoming captivated by their acclaimed EP ‘Glory’, I gave them my totally undivided attention. It’s rare for a live performance to give me goose bumps, but their rendition of ‘Give Me Something To Do’ went one further by literally giving me numb hands (…Yes, I should probably see a doctor). Good Morning play with such a confidence in their unique sound that even a wrong note doesn’t sound out of place. It’s just a pity that vocalist Liam Parson’s guitar lacked the cut through and prominence necessary to make the performance of a couple of tracks including their hit ‘Cab Deb’ outstanding.
Tim Richmond Group (TRG) were the next cab off the rank, a special mention must go to their fantastic drummer who’s energetic performance was a contrast to talented frontman Tim Richmonds’ subdued and hesitant vocals.
The Gaso was well and truly buzzing after TRG’s groovy and pulsating final track, setting the scene for Melbourne music stalwarts The Ocean Party to take the stage. Despite a small stage, this six-piece put in an energetic and charismatic performance in contrast to the laid back, subdued stage presences of their predecessors. It was a performance which certainly testified to the bands much evolved sound. The Ocean Party is truly the sum of its parts, with each member being absolutely critical to creating such a mammoth sound: their individual talent and dynamism on display as vocalist duties were shared amongst three of the band members.
All eyes were on SMILE as they performed their short but sweet new release, with the sound quality at an absolute premium as they opened with their instant classic ‘Holiday’. A droney, soft-rock style gave way to a more atmospheric, jammy brand of music as a a fifth member joined the band to play synth during the set. Whilst there is no doubting the quality of ‘Rhythm Method’, I believe that their live sound could do with some refinement if SMILE are to properly convey the impressive diversity of this album. A special mention has to go to guitarist Max Turner who managed to play slide guitar using a bourbon bottle, really innovative stuff.