is this your fix?

City Calm Down - Credit Ian Laidlaw 76.JPG

City Calm Down @ Bar On The Hill, Newcastle NSW Australia 21/06/2018 written by Brendan Lewis.

Close your eyes, hear the echoes in blue, let go, and come fly with me! Tonight, we soar high above the kingdom, in this modern land of ours. Let’s go wandering into a world of pleasure and consequence, feel it rush through your blood like a drug, let it fill you with pride and consume you. Tonight, Melbourne’s City Calm Down is guiding us through our movements through this mystical realm, as they hypnotise us with tracks off their new album ‘Echoes In Blue’ along with other fan favourites.

Let’s begin the rabbit run through time and space…

I guess there’s nowhere to start other than here, at the start. A dreamy sounding intro relaxes any tension in the crowd, before the band take flight in full speed with the perfect distraction, ‘Distraction/Losing Sleep’ followed by ‘Blood’ and the aural pleasures of ‘Pleasure & Consequence’. ‘Distraction/Losing Sleep’ soars into a high-energy, high-tempo rock energy, lead by hypnotic baritone vocals, that reflect that of The Cure.  As we fly through the musical skies, a strong wind of bass beats against the mix of sound, and although it is if anything, assistive to the bands’ sound in the first song, in ‘Blood’ the wind of bass becomes more exhausting to fight against and slows down the soaring sounds eclectic pursuit. Still, try not to focus on the hardship, instead fight through it and focus on the therapeutically irresistible David Bowie like vocals slowly elevate above the storm of bass, until the musical and on-stage energy from the band breaks free and reaches its full potential. Now calm your mind, for the struggles are behind you now, or should I say, below you rather. Above the clouds of bass that the sound fought so hard to rush past to reach their full heights in ‘Blood’, the surroundings are now bright, positive and uplifting in the retro anthem, ‘Pleasure & Consequence’. The musical skies are lit with twinkling stars of dance-provoking aural pleasure with a more steady beating heart-tempo, before the stars ignite and burst into fireworks around us, as the vocals rise and weave throughout and above the sound.

Our next two frontiers to discover are ‘In A Restless House’ and ‘Blame’ as we float back down to earth gently, a desensitising electro beat and gentle vocals bring a sense of comfort, before the bass and kick-drum beats against us in the mix of sound after the energy explodes fiercely in ‘In A Restless House’, but fear not, the rest of the bands’ sounds and their onstage high energy, keeps us and the sound afloat. The energetic musical and onstage energy is whisked away in ‘Blame’. What remains is a vulnerable, heavy emotional depth, full of longing and nostalgia, that with a wide vocals range of crying-out highs and deep lows, which yearn for belonging.

From out of the stormy struggle and despair, the rest of our session sees the bright musical energy that makes the band all move excitedly to in ‘Pride’, which is amazing that they haven’t all crashed into each other, fallen over or fallen onto anyone on the rather small stage for the sizeable band! The anesthetizing worldly funk of ‘Son’, the calming yet sensually uplifting and the entrancing synth and guitar riffs that put me in a warm fuzzy mind frame in ‘Decision Fatigue’, and the heartbreaking minor-tone urgency of ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ with its beautiful chord progressions and elegantly moving melodies. But now, our session nears its end so after the lead singer very nearly falls onto me from rocking out a bit too hard in the rock anthem ‘Your Fix’ and the up-beat David Bowie/The Cure style vocals that together, send me to a dream land, the energy is soared high above the cloud once more for ‘In This Modern Land’. This high-spirited guitar-hook-driven gust of positive energy sparks a previously unseen energetic reaction from the audience, and gives off a sense of rushing towards the finish line, for the set to fly away on a good note.

Session summary;

The patient (the band) is filled with diverse in-depth emotions, that tend to elevate in each session. Although they face the challenge of overbearing bass at times, they overcome that challenge exceedingly well with their positive charisma and otherwise positive musical outlook on each session. I feel the patient is on a good path, and was very therapeutic for me.