Love was in the air at Badlands on Saturday night, radiating from the bands to the fans, and back again. Most apparent however, was the love from the community to local community radio station RTRfm. As many of you would know, RTRfm encompasses everything that a community radio station should. Support for local bands, venues and businesses, an eclectic range of shows hosted by knowledgeable volunteers, and an unbiased agenda; to bring great music to a great city. But how do they manage to keep this standard of content on the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? What keeps them going? Well, this brings me back to that four letter word; Love.
All year round RTRfm relies on love to keep them on air in the form of donations and most importantly, subscriptions; a small monthly donation available to businesses, bands and the general public. Every August the RTRfm Radiothon encourages its listeners to become subscribers and the out pour of support is unsurprisingly massive. For this year’s Radiothon, RTRfm encourages it’s listeners to “choose their own adventure”. Beginning at 6am Friday August 10 and finishing on Sunday August 19, the 10 day broadcasting spectacular is sandwiched between two massive parties; the Saturday August 11th opening party at Badlands and the Saturday August 18th closing party at both The Bird and Ezra Pound. As expected, the opening ‘adventure’ at Badlands didn’t disappoint.
Montana Wildhack set the tone for what was a great evening with their brand of airy shoegaze. Ride happy grooves, spaced out guitar and soothing vocals filled the room, showered with echoed synths building a chord progression until it became a blissful wall of sound. Some early technical difficulties stifled the mood slightly to begin with but once they got comfortable they were a joy to watch. Filth Goddess stirred up the vibes on the small stage next with their Aztec aesthetic and droning experimental sounds keeping the audience entranced.
Dumbleachers hit the main stage bringing everyone back to Earth with their larrikin punk tunes, and the crowd seemed to connect well with their relatable tales of running with your shit-head mates and getting up to no good. Sprinkled with spaced out jangle jams and a good sense of humor, they wrapped it all up in a fuzz rock package that was well received. Yomi Ship continued their trend of blowing audiences away, playing with a maturity and polish that never fails to enthrall and excite. Their slow burning prog/post rock kept the crowds feet tapping along before pulling the rug out from under them with a time signature change that never felt out of place, keeping the room hanging on their every note. Yomi Ship’s sounds portrayed the changing landscapes of a pilgrimage to a higher plane. Following up, multi-textured two piece experimental outfit HEEBEEJEEBIES combined eerie synths and pulverizing beats with distorted guitar and haunting vocals to form intriguing pieces of music.
Crowd favorites Black Stone From The Sun once again delivered the goods, playing a selection of tunes from their recent debut LP Dreamalysis. Keeping the formula simple, they took the best elements of punk, grunge and power pop and distilled them into a potent punch that keeps the crowd coming back for more. I look forward to what these guys are going to do next.
Noah Dillon followed up, bearing his soul for all to see with his piercingly personal lyrics softened by emotional guitars. His songs built slowly until the whole band dropped a sledgehammer on you, bringing them to another level altogether. The band held the crowd's attention well, and even had some folks singing along with their huge choruses.
Once again, the vibes altered when Doublethink Prism took the second stage. Unhinged poetry read over unsettling, pulsating electronic beats filled the room like a creeping psychedelic trip turned wrong. Frontman Splodge belted out his manifesto, with the intention of doing as the title of their LP suggests; impregnating your mind. Mission accomplished.
New Talk further cemented their spot as one of Perth’s premier local acts, delivering a ripping live show. Catchy bass guitar hooks drove the songs like a thudding engine, backed by danceable drum beats and combined with the moodiness of late 80’s to early 90’s era post punk or goth rock. The songs were huge, and I'm hoping for another album from these guys soon.
Ratking delivered a solid punch to the face, riling up the room with their mix of crossover punk/thrash and an undeniably Perth vibe. There definitely would have been some sore necks across town on Sunday morning. Last but not least Skullcave did what their name suggests, crushing craniums with their feedback heavy ‘Doom-Gaze’ tunes, dropping with the weight of an anvil and sending shockwaves through Badlands.
As always, RTRfm put on a stellar night of entertainment with the support of a great venue and some great local acts. Be sure not to miss the next adventure, the closing party at The Bird and Ezra Pound on Saturday August 18th with more great bands to come. Lastly, if you want to give some love back to RTRfm you can donate or subscribe by calling (08) 9260 9210, or subscribe online at the web address below.
Written by Liam Lynch
Thanks to RTRfm, Emma Peet and Matt Puccinelli of CapturaObscura photography
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