Live Review: Matters of Fiction CD Launch

Matters of Fiction, Grand Central, Burgers of Beef
Amplifier Bar
Friday 25th November 2005
Review by Rohan Hewson

Possibly the funniest band in Perth, the Burgers of Beef started the night playing to a couple of dozen people, all crowded around the edges of the room. The Amplifier looks so empty when people do that. The mixing was pretty ordinary, with the trombone in one of the songs sounding more like the horn of a semi-trailer, but they made up for it with fun, sometimes hilarious songs (whether or not you listen to the lyrics). There’s definitely no other band in Perth with songs about penguins or Linda Ronstadt in their repertoire. They do have a reesonably normal love song though, their new single ‘Satellite’, which a few people were singing along to during the chorus. A few people drifted in throughout the set, and by the time they finished the crowd had probably doubled.

Grand Central played a set of fairly generic melodic rock, most of which didn’t stick in my head that much after they finished playing. It was enjoyable enough though, with enough hooks, interesting chord structures, and other words that sound good in reviews, to be quite attention-grabbing while they were playing. Their first song was the best of the set, with some cool sounding yelling over the guitars.

By the time Matters of Fiction started, the Amplifier was packed – they drew quite a crowd to watch them launch their EP ‘All You’. They played a similar kind of music as Grand Central, but with the addition of a keyboard and harmonica, neither of which were used enough in their set in my opinion. The harmonica especially was a nice touch when it came out… it’s an instrument commonly used by quieter acoustic acts, but rarely by louder rocking acts. It really spiced up the song it was in. Also quite interesting was when the singer sat down at the keyboard and played some of the slower songs of the set. He’s no Tim Freedman but it worked pretty well.

Unfortunately, the songs that stuck to the tried-and-true guitar / bass / drums formula just didn’t grab my attention that much… it got quite hard to tell the difference between some of the songs. Luckily, though, there were enough interesting sounding songs in the set to even it out. They kept my attention till the end, anyway, which not all bands do.


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