Life is Freaky – Coolangatta Hotel, 29/02/20

Snake Mountain.

Snake Mountain are a Gold Coast band. They performed with 2 guitar players, a bass player, drums and vocals.

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From the outset, these folks meant business. Their sound was tougher than Pauline Hanson’s ego. The vocalist was soon down in the crowd, prowling amongst us, urging us to rip in. And we did.

There was excellent use of samples to add to the atmosphere and some really tasty lead guitar work that was all at once subtle, yet compelling, without being self-indulgent.

They were masters of the tempo change, with us getting lulled into one direction, only to be jarred back into the moment.

The band often got down low and thrashed along with their acoustic creations. The lead guitarist was amazingly energetic – setting tones that spiralled up and down – bringing us all along on the ride. The rhythm guitarist’s entertaining antics added to all of this, keeping us connected to the music.

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The vocals were significantly menacing, strong and coarse, but then surprising harmonies were used to great effect.

Their playing was fast and tidy. Each song was a brick in a solid wall of metal.

They invited us to have a beer with them and we willingly obliged! They had a great way of bonding with the crowd. I look forward to hearing more from these bangers and to the next time that I can catch them live.

Harbour the Code.

These folks also hail from the Gold Coast and they cracked the set open with an intriguing backing track, before launching into their magnificent metal.

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They performed with two guitars, bass, percussion, vocals. They often often used a staccato groove that rocked our souls to the point of shattering. However, their music also often lulled us into a false sense of security, then ramped things up to a whole other level.

Their sound romped and rollicked through the venue and they had a variation of sound, varying the depth of their impact. Surprisingly melodic influences were occasionally used, as the vocalist flexed some considerable and diverse vocal muscles, with some demonic vocal interjections from the bassist.

One of the guitarists had a sinister countenance, like he was teaching us a lesson that we would not soon forget. Rumour has it that bassist is the offspring ofThe Energiser Bunny, as he was never still, capering throughout the set. All of this showed their love of what they did and it engaged us with their work all the more.

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They performed their latest track “Misery” and it pumped!

The band head banged in unison on many occasions and they had great banter with the crowd. This was a great set and the band certainly made some new fans with their performance.

Life is Freaky.

From the very beginning, it was abundantly clear that we were in for something special. The band were tight, unified in their love of the music. There was no pretense, only a desire for perfection. 

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The integration of the band was seamless. These folks haven’t played together much, but there was no way that this was obvious. If this was a movie, these folks would be the rag-tag collection of miscreants that have been assembled to do the impossible. And they fucking nailed it.

Jesse Dracman handled the vocals and his performance was one of emotions, those that he had felt when he engaged with the music of Korn – he was at times frantic, or troubled or angst ridden in voice and movement. His vocals shifted from rap to pleading to plaintive to pissed off faster than that blue chick from X-Men.

Some intricate guitar work was handled with care and alacrity. Guitar flourishes abounded and the bass line was superb. The complimentary guitar parts were exquisitely executed. I had no idea of the complex nature of this music and to see it performed live elevated my thinking and appreciation of it.

This was Korn re-imaged, diligently and respectfully. The concentration of the band was impressive. This was no pedestrian performance. That they often got lost in their performance was obvious. These folks displayed more cohesion than the Australian cricket team of the golden age of Warne, Healey, McGrath and any combination of Waugh brothers.

Jesse Dracman knows how to bond with and whip up a crowd and he did this at many points in the band’s performance. This set built momentum like a runaway train, but one never likely to derail.

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At the end of the set, there was nothing left on the stage – they gave it their all.

Right now, you’re probably taking some of that with a grain of salt, given that I am unashamed Jesse Dracman fan. Conscious of my outlook I looked for an independent certification to balance my opinion, just like we do with the science of climate change.

During any gig one my daughters and I often dance at the front, even when we’re the only ones. I reckon it helps get things started. I had ducked off to hammer out some of my thoughts and my daughter made a friend, who was also dancing.

During the course of the evening she and he friend joined my daughter, my wife and I and we became fast friends. She spoke about being at the gig because Korn is the music of her life and that she loves what they do. She had no idea who Jesse Dracman was. She had also seen many of the bands that we had seen and had a parallel taste in music.

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So, I reckon that qualifies her as a knowledgeable metal fan, an expert on Korn and that she has no attachment to the band performing their work.

Her take on the evening?

“This was the best live gig ever!

And, my back hurts.”

Job done.

Greg Noble.

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