Joyce Manor, Oslow, Carb on Carb @ Transit Bar, Wednesday May 31

The Canberra streets around Transit were pretty dead (winter, or a footy game maybe), making me think tonight might be a quiet one, but as two-piece Carb On Carb started their sound check, a steady flow of punters came through the door. Their sound was very Camp Cope-like, and their talent very evident. I look forward to seeing what their future holds. Oslow’s melodic punk sound was a fine prelude to our US headliners.

The small size and raw vibe of Transit suited again tonight as we watched Joyce Manor do their sound check and began to huddle around the stage. By the time ‘Fake ID’ came three songs in, the group were well warmed up and the crowd slowly followed suit. Tonight’s audience did indicate that the group are maybe more indie than punk these days, as there wasn’t the mosh I expected but more head bopping, knee shaking and lyric miming (a la Weezer’s ‘Buddy Holly’ clip – a group I liken Joyce to since they covered them last time in Canberra and are also from California).

The excellent drumming was more exposed in their live show and became evident as a major strength of their sound. There was some fun banter between songs. After commenting on currently supporting Smith Street Band, one audience member proclaimed, “Wil Wagner is a knob”, and the group responding with, “we will talk to you later.” Their set got better as it went on with ‘18’, ‘Schley’, ‘Constant Headache’ and ‘Heart Tattoo’ taking us towards the finale. After closer ‘5 Year Plan’ they returned quickly to the stage to give us a little encore with ‘Xmas Card.’ Thanks for taking the detour from your support shows to give Canberra a piece of the action Joyce!

JARROD MCGRATH

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