Melbourne group Kins took the stage at the allotted Friday night time of 9PM, repeatedly thanking the growing crowd for turning up so early to see them. The band members are a young lot, which was reflected in their awkward stage presence. More importantly, though, it was not reflected in their music, which is solid, atmospheric pop. Their song arrangements fit simple, repetitive drum beats and guitar hooks, augmented by well chosen pedal effects, which are carried along by some very impressive bass playing and a voice that one could easily imagine on the radio. A highlight was the title track from their ‘mini-album’ (not to be confused with an EP), Dancing Back and Forth Covered in Whipped Cream, before exiting after a modest 35 minute set.
Continuing along similar musical lines, Brisbane band Little Scout are another collection of young souls trading in atmospheric indie pop. They also managed to convey a certain amount of movement within their compositions, something which is all too often missing in this particular sub-genre. The songs married atmospheric layered sounds with intricately delivered parts from the guitars and keyboards. This allowed the songs to bop along without losing their ethereal qualities; the only instrument that remained at a static level being the fragile voice of Melissa Tickle, a constant in a swelling sea of sound. Little Scout were received warmly by the crowd, and are certainly a band to watch in the near future.
Now it was time for the main act, Sydneysiders Parades. The amount of styles that Parades can fit into a pop song is impressive, not least because they do so without overwhelming the listener. They managed to take the ethereal pop thing and give it energy, achieving both texture and excitement, incorporating elements of dance, via the use of a Roland SP drum machine, post punk, and rock, all while making it look fun. The result was a set that was beautiful and exciting.
Making good use of the classic stop/start technique, there were moments when distorted guitars gave way to cascading three-part harmonies, when dreamy pedal effects and synthesizers gave way to an urgent rhythm and you could hear the audience making a collective ‘ohh!’ This unusual and successful melting pot of styles ensured that those in attendance were kept on their toes, never sure what was going to happen from one moment to another. Of course this is not all there is to Parades, they can also write one hell of a catchy pop song, as evident in their single Loserspeak in New Tongue, which is guaranteed to have you absent mindedly singing its ‘oh-oh-oh-oh’ hook line for days afterwards.
It was a very well chosen lineup on this particular night, pairing three bands that fit together so fluidly that they were able to share a back line (guitar amps, drum kit, etc.). Just like any decent set list, the excitement lifted and grew until the moment that Parades said goodnight and left the stage of the Northcote Social Club. Next time you get the opportunity, make sure you go see Parades; a hard working and original band who deserve the attention that they slowly appear to be gaining.
Originally published on FasterLouder on 19/04/2011. View original article.