Tag Archives: lana harris

‘The Rat Trap’ Polytoxic @ Brisbane Powerhouse, 9th February, 2011 [Live Review]

Review by: Lana Harris

  Let me introduce you to The Rat Trap. Bull whipping, lampshade hanging, Siamese twin ninja fighting cabaret. Using a mix of circus antics, contemporary dance moves, ye olde piano music, silent movie explanation screens and good ol’ physical comedy, Polytoxic act out the seedy and sexy story of the dive known as The Rat Trap.

The Rat Trap is a ‘scratch work,’ the beginnings of a finished piece performed as part of the World Theatre Festival at the Powerhouse. The festival contains several of these still cooking pieces, enticing viewers with an unpolished taste of performer vision.

Polytoxic keeps a cracking pace through the show, including plenty of action designed to make the audience gasp and laugh. The result is an accessible piece where there’s nothing to ‘get’. Polytoxic make it clear to their audience that their sole purpose on stage during Rat Trap is not to send a message or explore deep, dark and meaningful themes, it’s to amuse the audience and have fun. The diversity of the performers, whose backgrounds range from theatre to dance to circus training, appears to be a strong feature in creating such an entertaining piece. The mix of talents twists intricacy and depth into the performance.

Polytoxic have been around since 2000, and have recently upped their numbers from a three piece to six performers. If the beginnings of The Rat Trap are anything to go by, the increase in entertainers will expand the possibilities of a group which are already known for their raw, energetic, and accomplished works.


Playing at the Brisbane Powerhouse until Sun 13 Feb 2011

Dates/Times
Fri 11 Feb 7.15pm
Fri 11 Feb 8.20pm
Sat 12 Feb 7.15pm
Sat 12 Feb 8.20pm
Sun 13 Feb 5.45pm
Sun 13 Feb 8.45pm

Visit the Brisbane Powerhouse site for all details.



More articles by Lana Harris:
* U2 @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane w/ Jay Z – 8 December 2010 – Live Review
* Rise to Remain “Bridges will Burn” – EP Review
* Radio Birdman “Live in Texas” – LP Review
* Montpelier ‘Last Boat’ Single Review
* Weezer “Hurley” – LP Review
* Soilwork “The Panic Broadcast” – LP Review
* Danza Contemporanea De Cuba @ The Playhouse (Brisbane Festival), 15th September 2010 – Live Review
* Polarity @ The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane 13th September 2010 – Live Review
* Betrayal @ The Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane 10th September 2010 – Live Review
* Crow “Arcane” – LP Review
* Search for more article by this author…

Rise to Remain “Bridges will Burn” – EP Review

Review: Lana Harris

  Rise to Remain is proving to be a prophetic moniker for this five piece Metalcore band from London. Only a few years old, they’ve been awarded a Golden God award for Best New Band in 2010 and their EP release, Bridges will Burn, displays that the band are worthy of such accolades. The overall sound of Rise to Remain contains all the definitive elements expected in metal – shredding up and down the fretboard, melodic and scratchier vocals combined within tracks, heavy guitar and drum work, blended with the speed of hardcore.

Best track on the album is ‘Illusive Existence’. It contains cascading avalanches of relentless drumming that makes it the most brutal of the songs. Space is allocated within this to show off not just the talents of Pat Lundy (drums) but also a good chunk of solid guitar soloing. Guitar shred is prevalent throughout the EP, appearing on every track but only ever in shortish bursts.
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U2 @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane w/ Jay Z – 8 December 2010 – Live Review

Review: Lana Harris
Photo Credit: Stuart Blythe
View full photo gallery here
The crush down Caxton St at five pm begins the stadium size spectacle that will be U2 and Jay-Z tonight. By the time Jay-Z takes the stage at 6.30pm, the standing room ticket area is already mostly full. Jay-Z lives up to his hype, resplendent in Gangsta Garb, sunglasses welded to his face, rap antics peppered throughout his set, a ten piece accompaniment to his words provided by drumming, saxophone, trumpet and keyboard among others. He’s playing early, to an audience mostly waiting to see a main act distinctly different in style. He copes well with this, managing to get hands in the air and ladies spinning clothes above their heads during the one hour set. ‘On to the Next One’ and ’99 Problems’ get the crowd going, and ‘Forever Young’, covered in an ode to Notorious B.I.G, is also popular. Throughout the set the bass is massive, pummeling the throat, rattling hearts against rib cages. He exits the stadium in a stretch golf buggy.
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Muse @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre, December 5th, 2010 – Live Review

Review: Lana Harris

View full photo gallery here

[Photo Credit: Matt Palmer]
  If you didn’t realise MUSE were an astronomic rock explosion of a symphonic band, tonight’s stadium extravagance featuring floating performance platforms and blinding silver sequined suits leaves no doubts as to the epic nature of these revolution focused rockers.

Beginning with ‘Uprising’ from latest album The Resistance, MUSE starts the night five metres above the stage, perched on moving

pillars and hidden between huge rectangular prisms which display Orwellian arrangements of human movement. Pairing tracks with visual displays that are often breathtaking and always in the theme of wonder at the natural or fear of the dictatorial is used to great effect throughout the show. ‘Resistance’ is accompanied by DNA helixes spiralling and human forms twisting upon the screens of the prisms above, interspersed with close ups of the band for those sitting further away in the stadium. ‘Undisclosed Desires’ has verdant lasers flinging their light across the crowd, creating a visual spectacle reminiscent of swarms of fireflies hovering above punters’ open mouths.
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Radio Birdman “Live in Texas” – LP Review

Review: Lana Harris


Buy This Album Here!
  Radio Birdman are Australian old school punk rock, around since the times of The Saints and inevitably compared to them. Their punk elements blend with a healthy dash of the pub rock feel that often comes from Australian acts. Radio Birdman are the group you can chuck it on at a party and no-one will text you at four in the morning asking ‘who was that playing when I downed the tenth shot of tequila?’ because its one line chorus has been stuck in their head ever since. Instead, partygoers will subtly begin to sway and bop their head (way before it could be attributed to intoxication) or be heard humming one of the hooky riffs as they exit the bathroom.

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Boiling Point @ Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane 19 November 2010 [Live Review]

Review: Lana Harris
The show begins before we’ve even entered the room. An usher approaches, explaining that to gain admission, tickets are not enough. We’ll need to remove our shoes and any socks and crowd into the shopfront’s store room, leaving behind our footwear. As compensation we will be given a small torch. Crammed into the dark room with forty other people and their exposed feet, we wait for the show to begin.

There is no extra light provided once the doors to the shopfront are opened. We creep in using our bare feet for balance and our small torches for sight. Bolder venturers have already spotted the still as statue performers; others illuminate kitchenware hanging from the ceiling and news stories on the wall recounting the trial of a 1950’s female that killed her husband by poisoning him.
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The Boat People – Dance to My Pain/ Antidote Double A-side Remix Package – CD Review

Review: Lana Harris


Buy Album Here
  This double a-side release features tracks from the recently released Dear Darkly, creating a target audience of people who love The Boat people singles but who won’t commit to buying a full album, and fans who love The Boat People so much they’ll buy this just for the remixes of the two title tracks.

The CD opens with ‘Antidote’, which is a very sweet love song, a well crafted pop tune, and the last time on this CD that guitars are able to take the front of stage. From ‘Dance to My Pain’ and onwards through the remixes, synthesisation and beats take over. C’mon, Boat People, just admit it: you want to be a dance act. Sure, sure, not a traditional dance act,

but a revitalised, fresh, Aussie pop influenced electro outfit who, every so often, get to wear a furry animal costume on stage – even if it’s done in the spirit of irony.
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Parkway Drive – “Deep Blue” LP Review

Review: Lana Harris


Buy the CD here
  There are lots of surprises in the musical world. Who would’ve thought that Billy Ray Cyrus would still be making money, that Ozzy Osbourne would still be alive, or that Parkway Drive – who mix hardcore and metal styles into brutal barrages of songs – could have emerged from the womb of hippiedom, Byron Bay? But it happens, and the success of Parkway Drive has recently been confirmed with their third album Deep Blue acknowledged at the Australian Music Industry Awards with the honour of ‘best hard rock/ punk album’.

The award for the album is not one of the music world’s surprises. Deep Blue is a masterpiece of jack hammering ear assault.

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Bad Religion – “The Dissent of Man” – LP Review

Review: Lana Harris


Bad Religion
  It’s too easy to gloss over the name Bad Religion, tossing it quickly into the punk rock basket without thinking about semantics. Maybe it’s because the band has been around since forever (well, 1979) their name synonymous with punk and early influences and just ‘there’. But Bad Religion’s latest offering, The Dissent of Man, has a hard-to-miss lyrical focus on biblical styled topics across several of the tracks.

There are references to judgement day, evil, famine and plague (‘Only Rain’), Jesus and his impartial workings (‘Won’t Somebody’) and angels, devils and hallelujah (‘The Devil in Stiches’). These Christian references are the band’s way of exploring concepts

of freedom or the lack thereof, religion being a convenient metaphor when describing struggles around emancipation. Apart from the religion-as-oppressor imagery, the band’s lyrics have plenty of references to truth, lies and other social conventions which no decent punk rock act’s repertoire should be without.

The first few tracks on The Dissent of Man are stock Bad Religion songs, punk and energetic and immediately displaying the quality and technical skills that have seen the band last as long as they have. Opener ‘The Day that the Earth Stalled’ powers relentlessly along before bursting into a strong finish. ‘Only Rain’ moves fast with a strong chorus hook and ‘The Resist Stance’ lets loose in a blast of epic riffage. It is easily the catchiest song on the album. The tempo then drops a couple of notches with ‘Won’t Somebody’ and ‘The Devil in Stitches’ (first single). These tracks are quite melodic, a bit slower and more on the rock side of punk rock. ‘Pride and the Pallor’ introduces another wave of fast moving guitars that lasts for five powerful and compact songs before the speed is arrested with ‘Cyanide’. ‘Cyanide’ is melodic, a poppy anomaly only lightly tinged with rock and with a chorus line of ‘missing you is like kissing…’ inciting a bout of heavy cringing until the final word ‘cyanide’, which saves the line.

A lighter pace and sound continues for the rest of the album. ‘Where the Fun Is’ is the album’s nadir, disappointingly lacklustre considering its title. All the later tracks seem to be experiments in expanding what is traditionally considered the Bad Religion sound. This was an unexpected turn, but the songs do demonstrate the strength of Bad Religion as a band. All tracks on The Dissent of Man, regardless of style, are well executed. The only faults that can be placed on the songs are in regards to the personal preferences as a listener and expectations of Bad Religion as a band, and nothing to do with playing or song crafting abilities. The Dissent of Man has some new elements and some old, but all of the tracks demonstrate Bad Religion is a band who knows how to play.

The Dissent of Man (Deluxe Version) - Bad ReligionThe Dissent of Man (Deluxe Version) – Bad Religion


Related –
More articles by Lana Harris:
* Weezer “Hurley” – LP Review
* Soilwork “The Panic Broadcast” – LP Review
* Danza Contemporanea De Cuba @ The Playhouse (Brisbane Festival), 15th September 2010 – Live Review
* Polarity @ The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane 13th September 2010 – Live Review
* Betrayal @ The Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane 10th September 2010 – Live Review
* Crow “Arcane” – LP Review
* Search for more article by this author…


Infected from Bad Religion on Vimeo.

Weezer “Hurley” – LP Review


Review: Lana Harris


BUY CD HERE
  Weezer have been around for a long time now. Their unique geek alt rock sound first surfaced in the nineties, when they experienced their peaks of mainstream success with the albums Weezer (1994) and Pinkerton (1996). Since then, they’ve copped a lot of flak regarding their direction and style, with one fan offering them $10 million for the band to not make another record. The band’s response? Up it to $20 mil and we’re in. Like all bands with a distinctive ‘sound’, there’ll always be criticisms when the group evolves. Perhaps it might be expected after coming up to two decades of existence with an image and lyrics that played on the innocent awkwardness of early adulthood?

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Soilwork “The Panic Broadcast” – LP Review

Review: Lana Harris


SoilworkSoilwork
  Helsingborg? Where the Helsingborg is that? Turns out this Swedish town is the fertile ground where Soilwork first plied their craft. Soilwork (both the name and the band’s philosophy) represents commitment and determination. Building from the roots of things and seeing them through to fruition via a lot of hard work. More of a biologically based metaphor than the grave digging that initially came to mind when the name ‘Soilwork’ is heard in connection with the words ‘death metal’.

The Panic Broadcast represents Soilwork’s eighth album and is a lesson to others in how to keep the momentum up after several releases. The energy presented could have it confused with an early career offering but the song structure and quality belies the truth: this is a band with extensive

experience in song craft, especially from singer and founding member Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid.
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Danza Contemporanea De Cuba @ The Playhouse (Brisbane Festival), 15th September 2010 – Live Review


[Image courtesy Brisbane Festival]
  Review: Lana Harris

Young and old wait in the shadows for the outsiders. Excited and unsure about what to expect from these strangers, from this contemporary dance troupe from the other side of the world, the other side of governance. Their entrance: a few members trickle onto the stage, in silence and unadorned.

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Crow “Arcane” – LP Review

Review: Lana Harris

  Deep in the American south, legends about crossroads abound. It is said that if you stand at a crossroads and wait there until midnight, a man (or the devil in the guise of a man) will appear who will imbibe you with phenomenal guitar playing abilities (and the women, money and fame that come with it). All that for the rather reasonable cost of your soul. Nowadays we know that’s not true, because there are plenty of people who have immense amounts of money, sex and fame that got gypped on the talented part.

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Sutra @ The Playhouse (Brisbane Festival), 8th September 2010 – Live Review

Review: Lana Harris

[Image courtesy Brisbane Festival – Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning]

Bodies twirling through the air, gravity defying leaps and rod straight limbs in perfect turns: the Shaolin monks have come to town. Part of a new contemporary dance performance, their fighting skills are being used to story tell and entertain in another’s vision.

Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is the man who has married the martial with the contemporary, travelling to China to live with and learn from the monks. His involvement in the temple life must have been deep and overwhelmingly positive: not only has Cherkaoui managed to capture the monks centuries old, tradition honed skills and use them effectively in a modern, western performance style, he convinced them to leave their Buddhist temple and to perform as part of the Brisbane Festival.
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