Last Leaves, Maths and Physics Club, Territory @ Smiths Alternative, Wednesday November 8

Coming into Smith’s on a forlorn Wednesday night, Alinga Street hums with the sound of Territory, a band that has been around for a few years now in different forms but seems to be settling into something stable. A cut heavier than the other two bands on the bill, Territory impress the early comers with a balanced blend of noise and melody.

Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Maths and Physics Club might bicker on stage over keys and capos, but there seems little doubt to their tightness together. That’s what over a dozen years together will do for a band. Playing a set of deft guitar pop, Maths and Physics stuck to a solid formula throughout; slightly sweet flavoured in tone but with boatloads of catchy guitar runs throughout. Hopefully they can come back to Australia sooner than in another 13 years.

For over a quarter of a century the Lucksmiths flew the flag for intelligent, literate guitar pop from Australia. Starting out on the sunnier and more twee side of things, and later maturing to darker tones as time went by. Like everything in life, the band eventually came to an end; however Last Leaves might be as close as you can get to a continuation without being the same entity, with three-fourths of the final Lucksmiths amongst its membership.

Last Leaves firmly exists more in the shadowplay, especially live with the guitar of Louis Richter coming to the fore. The band, led by songwriter Marty Donald, lives and dies on the delivery of his words, but Donald can certainly write a good turn of phrase or two. What is particularly noticeable about the band is how tight they are as a unit; how they seem to move together as one. Last Leaves might be one of Australia’s best kept secrets right now, especially as a live band.

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