Amodus: Live Review

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Saturday 30 October 2010 saw me return to Hawkesbury Hotel at Windsor for another night of quality Sydney metal. Sandwiched between the cymbal busting screamo band Gutterstomp and amp melting Syko Sapien were Amodus who featured on Insomnia Radio: Australia episode 8.

Having played the band on the podcast before, I had some idea what to expect. Gutterstomp raised the volume pretty high, damaging a cymbal after a few minutes into their set. Amodus saw my expectations and completely shattered them. While I have seen some female musicians in my time, it is still not common in my experience to see a stage full of women absolutely dominating their instruments like Rose (guitar), Melina (bass) and Sarah (drums) were. So where was vocalist Michael?

Michael was all over the stage and backwards and forwards over what would be normally a mosh pit area immediately in front of the stage. Often, he could not be seen amongst the small but vocal crowd of punters. Seen, not always. Heard? Definitely!  Unlike some heavier acts that just seem to scream at you for a 45 minute set without making sense, you could understand what Michael was singing screaming. He sure was working hard at his vocals as I could see at very close quarters.

While most of the songs were unfamiliar to me (so far!), the standout song for me live was Negative. I did not play Negative on episode 8 but I am going to have to correct that for episode 9. As I am writing this review, I have the song on repeat. Having said that, the song sounded a lot harder live than it does on the demo version I am currently listening to. I love the drum and guitar work on this song especially but hearing the girls live is outstanding. I can’t wait to see/hear them on a bigger stage in front of more punters. So if you have the impression that they aren’t hard rock/metal by listening to them on the podcast, turn your speakers up a bit more!

When Michael introduced me to Amodus, he made a point in highlighting the all female instrument playing lineup and that it was a big talking point with the punters. Having seen them live, I can see for myself what he means. In an ideal world, a musician should not be judged on their gender but their playing ability. It should not matter to the punter if Carl or Caroline is on stage performing but of course, it does matter to many people inside and outside of the industry. Anyone who writes off the female members of Amodus as not being worthy of being on stage and that they are a gimmick/novelty is, quite frankly, a fool. They are all more than worthy of being there. There are no sex kitten antics here, just 4 women who know how to get the best out of their instruments.

Unlike a certain other band I saw this weekend, Amodus are no novelty band. They deserve to be better known and not just dismissed as “that band where the chicks play all of the instruments”.  They are they real deal that you deserve to hear more about in the future, preferably on a bigger stage with a much bigger crowd! I can not wait to see them live again and to hear their complete album which is set for launch early in 2011.