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Rhinestones of the Apocalypse

by Ashley Jewnarain, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 17.05.2010

Vmacs is an odd venue, a roadhouse pub for bikers and truckers all the way past pinetown in an industrial zone, you feel out of town, which can be quite the ruckus-catalyst. This time I stood outside the mens room with a friend of mine examining scores of plaques commemorating bikers who had died on the nearby highway.I don’t remember the names but we drank to their honour, the bands did take ages to get going. The crowd wasn’t the usual sardine-shoal we’re used to at Vmacs parties, but there was a free gig at the Winston that night.

Fire Through The Window sound like the Alkaline trio making out with Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne in their pink bedrooms. I personally found them underwhelming, too diluted. They play with spirit and energy, but their sound never quite transcends the emo/indie-pop formula. This could partly have been due to some terrible sound engineering. Both vocalists were reduced to a droning mumble, a shame as their performances at least looked pretty jubilant, particularly the bouncing Sinead in her fabulous tights.

If I had Mxit, I’d bitch about it to ten other friends who weren’t there and who I only ever chatted to on Mxit. People pay money to get into these gigs. I do, most of the time. And when I do, the least I could ask for, really nicely, is to be able to hear everyone in the band clearly.

Anyway, Wrestlerish, launching their debut album, were up next. A ten minute soundcheck made all the difference, allowing me to actually get into their performance. They play a sombre yet vigorous blend of old school country and blues with young blood indie attitude. At times this can be quite sublime, making you sink a bit for that girl that staked you in the main vein a month ago before swigging your quart and smirking at that other Betty you smaak who is exquisitely shaking her best in front of you. Of course you do nothing about it, you’re a 20 something rhinestone cowboy in an unfair apocalyptic world. There’s whiskey to swig and bears to wrestle. Dames, they’ll be the downfall of us all… Anyway, enough of my tribulations, I’m sure you know what I mean. I may have put away too many Black Labels, I have been here for hours after all.

By the time Spitmunky came on, there was nothing left to do but slur, “hey no lukker!” to the invasion of hard beats and rhymes. If you’ve heard Spitmunky, read no further.

If you haven’t, they’re a mix of drum n’ bass/breakbeat with hip hop courtesy of Ewok. The crowd had thinned a bit and I needed to get back to the ranch. The Winston, we should have just gone to the Winston.

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