Day 49: Soundwave Festival Scouting Report – Vol. 4

Ten days out! Wooooo! Get hyped. Maps have been released, which means I can see which stages are furthest away from each other (naturally the most inconvenient ones). Which means I can think twice about rushing from one end of Homebush to the other and back when I can no longer feel my legs. This may be the last one of these that I do, my weekend seems to be coming together and there are no more bands that I would have time to see left on the table. Maybe after Soundwave I’ll go back and check out the bands that I missed. Anywho, back to our sheep.

ALL TIME LOW

In a sentence: I got your picture, I’m coming with you, Dear Maria, count me in.

That song gets stuck in my head all the time. It was my only experience of these dudes until now – I even saw them play it live when I was early for Killswitch Engage in 2013. But once again, this is a bunch of nice guys playing catchy pop-punk with sweet lyrics, and it may just be my extremely heightened and delicate emotional state, but I’m digging it. “For Baltimore” is super sweet, and incredibly poignant in a way that makes me unsure whether I should smile or cry until I can’t feel feelings anymore. Like…in a good way. I think.

Chances: My Sunday afternoon is still up in the air post-Killer Be Killed, and they have a damn good chance.

BUTCHER BABIES

In a sentence: Girly metal.

Pretty much what it says on the tin. Metal. Girls screaming. Hmm…sounds kinky. But seriously folks, this is good shit. I used to know a local Sydney band called Mz Ann Thropik (shoutout) and Butcher Babies reminds me of like a heavier version of her stuff. “Magnolia Blvd” is a rocking good song. They have a lot of good songs.

Chances: Pretty locked in as the penultimate stop on my Soundwave tour before I close it out with Slipknot.

APOCALYPTICA

In a sentence: Classical musicians masquerading as a rock band (or vice versa).

Another good example of a band that I’ve always known about but never bothered to really listen to, beyond checking out the odd Metallica cover. And they certainly can nail the hell out of a Metallica cover. I’ve always liked the pairing of classical with metal, it’s something I should really look into more. Starting with watching these guys at Soundwave, I guess.

Chances: Will probably see at least some of their stuff.

ANTEMASQUE

In a sentence: Cedric and Omar get bored and make yet another band.

I kid, I kid. Both At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta are on my non-Soundwave list of bands I need to check out one day. I come in with almost zero knowledge of these guys and their body of work. And yet this is kind of exactly what I’d expect them to sound like. Alternative, almost bluesy, experimental hard rock. It conjures up images of odd, existential music videos shot in the Mexican desert. I have no idea why, but there you go.

Chances: I have about half an hour to kill before Incubus. Pretty sure it will be filled with me getting off my feet, listening to these guys and thinking of the Mexican desert.

CONFESSION

In a sentence: Aussie melodic hardcore.

STRAYA! I vaguely remember these guys from the catchy “Fuck Cancer” number. Looking up this band opened the door for me to learn about some interesting Aussie band incest and finding out who plays with who (The guitarist from IKTPQ was in Bleeding Through??). This is also good shit. There’s not much hardcore presence at Soundwave this year, compared to years previous, so even in this quite metal-influenced form, it’s good to get some hardcore action. Oops, there I go with the filthy talk again. But this may be the heaviest band I get to see over the weekend.

Chances: Their timeslot eats into All Time Low and Papa Roach/Millencolin, so it may depend on the kind of music I feel like listening to on Sunday arvo. Papa Roach were the favourites for their timeslot in the beginning, and now seem like the least interesting option. This is where due dilligence pays off.

FEAR FACTORY

In a sentence: Pioneers of industrial-tinged metal.

…or whatever the fuck that means. I wish I could do this without sounding like a complete wanker. Apparently that’s what they are. I dunno, it all sounds like metal to me. FF are another band of whom I know one song really well (“Archetype”) and everything else only vaguely. I’d recognise them anywhere though because Burton C. Bell has such a distinctive voice. These guys are A Band (that I’ve known since I was a kid), and I feel good about checking them off a list.

Chances: Yep. Easily the best option at that time.

There we go. I have zero doubt I’ll keep talking about Soundwave in the next ten days. I am ridiculously excited. I haven’t even begun thinking about or even listening to my biggest priorities for the weekend, my favourite bands on the bill – Atreyu, Slipknot, Incubus, Manson. Argh. Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait.

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