LIVE REVIEW: Frenzal Rhomb at UniBar 25/3/17

Frenzal Rhomb played at the University of Wollongong UniBar on Saturday March 25th for what was described jokingly by the band as ‘a sneaky show to help pay the bills while they ruminate on a release date and title for their new album.’ This wasn’t a lie as not a few days later they announced their new album ‘Hi-Vis High Tea’ due out on May 26th. Beerwolf and Totally Unicorn were the support acts for the night and successfully riled up the rowdy crowd for Frenzal Rhomb’s performance. Frenzal Rhomb are still going strong and their new album is undoubtedly going to be highly anticipated by many.

Beerwolf are a new band hailing from Sydney. Their support slot for Frenzal Rhomb was their second ever show but they’d clearly already found their groove as a band, delivering a great set of their punk jams. Frontman Pete was confident on stage and got the crowd warmed up for the next act.

Totally Unicorn were up next, in their signature stage outfits of colourful underwear and not much else. It’s incredible to think how much energy the band would use up every time they played as they leapt around the stage while playing their metalcore hits. Frontman Drew Gardener ventured down into the small but rough crowd and was quite literally thrown around as he crowdsurfed but managed to keep singing the entire time. The band clearly enjoyed being onstage and had grins on their faces the entire time, while also delivering some great tunes.

Frenzal Rhomb took to the stage in their usual laidback manner. Frontman Jason Whalley began by telling the crowd that guitarist Lindsay McDougall had shown them around Wollongong the day before the show and had taken them to the infamous Grand Hotel, joking to the crowd that they had not been impressed. This laidback, bantering vibe continued through the night, breaking up their high-energy songs with funny anecdotes and interactions with the crowd.

McDougall told the crowd that they would be playing new songs from their upcoming album, a special treat for the crowd at the UniBar, considering that the album hadn’t been announced at that point. There were also plenty of classics including ‘Bucket Bong’ and ‘Never Had So Much Fun’ that had everyone singing along.

The crowd were as rough as you would expect at a punk show, especially with a band like Frenzal Rhomb playing their frantic riffs. There was a lot of pushing and shoving but it was all in good fun and Whalley urged the crowd to be careful not to hurt anyone. If anything it displayed the versatility of the UniBar as a venue; they host anything from solo singer-songwriters to punk bands and everything in between.

Frenzal Rhomb may have been around for over two decades, but they are no less popular than back in the 90s when they first began. Not only are their concerts a nostalgia hit for older fans, but they serve as a fun night of good music regardless, for newer fans or those unfamiliar with their music.

April 3rd 2017 | Daisy Loomes