No Art EP Launch @ The Workers Club
With a name like No Art – and at the Workers’ Club of all places – you could possibly be forgiven for having written off this Sydney band’s Thursday night EP launch amid visions of posturing and pretention. You would, however, have made a grievous mistake.
Having left an indelible impression on The Vulture after their two sets at Wellington’s Camp A Low Hum in February, No Art’s launch of the Exotica EP in Melbourne saw them reaffirm their reputation for powerful live performance.
For the as yet unaware, you should be training your mind upon a musical region somewhere around that forest Liars are always hanging out in, and listening to the drums: tribal without being sloppy, driving the rhythm forwards through subtlety rather than brute force. There’s a shimmer of 4AD guitar that suggests that this forest, far from the autumnal realm Liars inhabit, has frozen over. Trischelle Roberts’ vocal delivery, somewhat reminiscent of a young PJ Harvey, and measured bass add a backbone of post-punk aggression that coheres the act.
Supported by the fantastic High Tea, whose evocative music shares a narrative quality with that of Dirty Three, even if their styles resemble one another not a bit. Their musical depiction of a sunset duel had the whole room – modestly populated as it was – paying close attention, and willing to overlook the historical tendency for duels to be fought at dawn and not dusk.
A squalling barrage from Interzone was contrasted sharply with the electronic of ASPS in the interim, before No Art’s set began, the mood casual throughout, as it invariably is in the Workers’ Club bandroom.
There’s a pervasive sense of potential when watching this band perform. They feel very young: not in any sense that should be taken to mean they are green, or that they lack artistic cohesion, rather that the ideas they bring to bear in their sets represent a snapshot of a process that is continuing to evolve, and is far from exhausted.