Constant Mongrel, The Shifters, Drug Sweat, ASL @ The Curtin

The Melbourne punk scene emerges from the streets and gathers in The Curtin to see local punk bands play their finest songs. First up, ASL with relentless aggressive, high-pitched shouting from the singer as she warms up the people in the room. It’s a short set but enough to warm your ears up.

The crowd are really building up as Drug Sweat hit the stage. The post-punk band energise the bandroom as their drums are impressively synchronised with a drum machine, which blends with the overdriven guitar energy happening in front of the crowd’s eyes. The distorted dynamics of the band along with Jake Robertson’s loud vocals sparked more enthusiasm for the night ahead, with a few people shouting “Fuck yeah!”

The Shifters hype up the audience as a few people dance and others simply nod their heads in enjoyment. The Melbourne band has a steady, consistent rhythm with killer keys, and there’s a few more “Fuck yeah!”s and “Get ready for it, cunts,” from the crowd throughout.

Headliners Constant Mongrel play their heavy sounds to a packed room as they prove their chops as a post-punk band. Tonight is their final show in Australia before they head to Europe with recent album Living In Excellence, their first release in three years. The long wait was worth it and hearing their songs live is fantastic – the crowd love every second of it. The atmosphere is electrifying as the weighty guitar riffs along with the deep bass and strong vocals vitalise the room. The saxophone is the cherry on top, adding more power to the music.

Living In Excellence is a social commentary on the issues and falseness of white, middle-class living. The lyrics are loaded with topics including racism, religion, white guilt, misogyny, modern fascism and a bit of humour. Fans go wild to songs like 600 Pounds, The Law and the title trackThere’s a mini mosh pit happening in front of the stage along, with heads banging to and fro and smiles all around. Constant Mongrel close the night with Puffy, a fun and comedic song to lighten up the room and end on a high: “Do you know what a puffy jacket is? Do you know what a pillow feels like?

Written by Alicia Ogley for The Music

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