GUM @ The Foundry

Turnin' up the vocal FX with this psychedelic rockstar

Riding at the head of Australia's psychedelic rock wave is Jay Watson, a man with fingers in many pies. A member of Tame Impala's studio and touring band, and the associated act POND, Jay has taken his solo project GUM on the road with a string of mostly sold out shows around Australia. But this time he wasn't alone, joined onstage by a hand-picked selection of Perth's finest rockers.

Preceding GUM on stage was a talented showcase of the East Coast's up-and-coming indie and psych rock bands, all vying for who could squeeze the most vocal FX in to their respective sets. Sunny Coast's Chakra Efendi opened the night with a sound that was born in surf rock but has grown up with the times to a mellow indie rock set with some mint production chucked in as well. During that growth, they held on to the laid back vibes from their Sunny Coast/surf rock roots that is all mixed up in their latest release Not So Good.

Up next were the Brisbane boys Top Dollar, who kicked the echo FX up high and played their unique blend of dreamy, rotoscoped rock and extremely nonchalant lyrics. Singing of the troubles of searching for a job in this damn town (and choosing to hit the beach instead), new release Let's Go Surfing was the highlight of the set while Midnight Drive gets an honourable mention. Closing up the showcase was Sydney's one-man-band MOSSY, who creates a performance that screams borderline personality disorder, but in a good way. After introducing the non-existent member's of his 'band', MOSSY really pushed the limits of his vocal FX that vary increasingly from song to song, creating alternating atmosphere's. The excellent self-produced backing tracks and his Bowie-esque stage presence came together in Electric Chair.

Finally stepping onstage, with a very slight air of nervousness, was GUM in full four-piece format. The drums were manned by Scarlett Stevens (San Cisco), guitar by Jennifer Aslett (Gunns, Boat Show) with Ali Flintoff (Dream Rimmy, Gunns, Boat Show) as synth-meister. Though they had only been playing together for a week, and once the enthusiasm of the crowd warmed them up, these talented musicians performed a very tight set that gave Jay the freedom to do his thang. And do it, he did. Starting the set with some earlier songs like Growin' Up, that are much simpler and cleaner than later material, the crowd went on a journey through Jay's solo experimentation. Coming up to the end, Anesthized Lesson stirred the audience in to a frenzy before closing with Science Fiction that caused an all-out mosh.

Nick Lewis

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