Pahlemik Cd Launch
Hyde Park Hotel
Sat 27th January 2007
Review by Rohan Hewson
I walked in to this gig halfway through The High Impedance’s set. The Hydey was pretty packed, so I couldn’t get to the front, and I didn’t really want to. The sound coming from the front was a loud electronic buzzing, with only occasional snippets of guitar giving away that it wasn’t just a malfunctioning amp, a la Metal Machine Music. Surprisingly, they weren’t far and away the weirdest band of the night. Meanwhile, I just watched the donation jar fill up… instead of having a set door charge, Pahelemik had a jar which people threw gold coins into. It seemed to work pretty well, because that jar was mighty full by the end of the night.
Cease played next, with the first actual music of the gig. What they played could be considered one song, because nobody clapped until the end and the room didn’t go silent for half an hour, but the set could be divided up into three or four different movements that were almost different songs. There’s only two people in this band, a drummer and a guitarist, and no vocals. The guitarist wore a bizarre outfit that looked like the most lurid-coloured rags he could find in a Good Sammy’s, and a belt with ‘Cease’ written on it – come to think of it, that’s probably the only way of figuring out who they were, because I don’t think he ever said a word the entire set. He also spent half the set standing on an amp, facing the drummer or out the window. As for the music… it was like ‘Molten Universe’ by Kyuss, but played a whole lot slower. It may sound dodgy, but at the Hydey this kind of stuff seems to work. I liked it, anyway. This is what stoned noise music should be like… actually tuneful. I’ve seen this band a few times now and they’re growing on me.
Abe Sada were the third strange band of the night. They have three bass guitars, one double bass, and nothing else – again, no singing. The first half of the set sounded like my head when I was coming into Adelaide on the Indian Pacific on a cold July morning a couple of years ago, with a filthy red wine hangover. Maybe that’s a bit of a Pitchfork-esque description, but that’s what it reminded me of. Then things sped up a bit, with occasional bursts of feedback and energy. They sounded much more interesting than you’d expect from nothing but basses.
Noise Etiquette were the first band to have singers, and they had a couple. They were either a metal or a punk band, depending on who was singing, growling or screaming in the particular bar. Apart from that they were pretty similar to any number of other bands I’ve seen at the Hydey, but the alternating between singers kept it fresh. And just a quick word on the house music; the last song I ever expected to hear on the PA straight after Noise Etiquette finished was ‘The New Matthew’ by Custard. Still, I guess nothing was really normal tonight.
The Kids consisted of two drum kits (the first time in a while I’ve seen that), an old Rhodes piano and a guitar. Pete Guazzelli (late of Harry Smith) sang while playing one set of the drums. They had well structured songs and vocals you could hear, which was something of a novelty for the night. They were good, too.
I read Pahlemik described as ‘weirdcore’ in Xpress, which I suppose fits them as well as anything. They played some kind of punk I was too drunk to even think of a sub-genre for, and they were the tightest band of the night by a long way. Strangely, there seemed to be less crowd for them than for the Kids, immediately beforehand. Maybe they just went up the back to protect their hearing.
Anyway, Pahlemik played a fine, faultless set which I was too drunk at the time to describe further. I’d certainly recommend them, though.