PIAF: Jambinai & Gold Class - 23/2

An evening of post-rock. Of grizzling rhythms, and the quiet, simmering anger, under a cold night sky. All sound, thunder and fury.

Gold Class was the first to warm up the stage. Think of the English band Sleaford Mods, except cross out Nottingham for Melbourne, and lose the grim, sardonic humour that only life in the British hinterlands could produce, in favour of something more dour, more serious. Gold Class isn’t mould breaking by any stretch of the imagination, but in their niche, they do it particularly well. It’s got the obligatory, angry vocals, and the low droning rhythms that always inevitably draws Joy Division comparisons (who remembers other Joy Division songs, let’s be honest?), though their drummer seemed to be performing at his peak. Their set wasn’t anything special to remember, but at least the lead singer came down to be amongst his fans. Other than that, Gold Class’ set was at best deserving of a silver medal- good enough, but not quite one to remember either.

Jambinai, a strange band, from a strange country better known for its pop bands, is on the other hand something special. From the moment of the geomungo and the haegum was struck, everyone knew they were going to be in for a real, spicy treat. The fusion between the traditional folkloric instruments of the East with the familiar technological stalwarts of the West isn’t just for show. It’s the heartbeat that which Jambinai pulses through. Each song passed from one to the next, in the manner of a stream of consciousness, but the feeling is that akin to an ocean drowning out all your senses (think of the ‘fear is the mind killer’ quote from Frank Herbert for a great visual imagery). The melodies build up from slow and finish to a haunting crescendo, with really rich layers beneath forming the soundscape. Unlike most acts from the West, no one in particularly really took centre stage- and not sure if its an artistic or a cultural thing, but rather the entire band kind of performed as a single unit, with the efficiency and unison of an E-Sports team (naturally the country’s other main export), and their ‘lead’ singer’s banter game was a bit stilted, but more due to the language barrier than being awkward, but with the few words that he did manage to communicate, let us know how lovely the Perth audience that came down, which we deep down appreciate (evidenced by the crowd cheering in reaction) . The end result is a product that one could headbang to- proving that post-rock truly swims across cultural oceans- whether East, or West, or a bit of both, they share a lot of similarities.

By the end of the night, my leg was pretty sore.

(Photo Credit: Daniel Craig)

Andrew Ryan