Anticipation was mounting for all girl pop-punk outfit Camp Cope, who as supports, managed to fill up the Curtin before the main act. Clearly they’ve acquired quite a following after releasing their first album earlier this year.
Fronted by Georgia Maq who then began to sing their most popular track, “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams”. Her engaging presence was only enhanced by the intense spotlighting. Comprising of themes relatable to most 20 something’, which was most evident in their choice to name the song after a 9/11 conspiracy theory. This comical naming was heavily contrasted by the actual content of the track which detailed the darker side of systematic patriarchy. The angsty use lo-fi guitar and drums awakened one’s 15 year old self who was incessantly angry about everything. Maq then listed off, almost in a check list fashion, the patriarchal ignorance young women have to endure, “take it as a compliment” and “you're asking for it when you're walking home alone at night”. As she pulled back her hair showcasing her hoops, there was a slight semblance to empowering figure Nai Palm, of Hiatus Kaiyote.
Comparisons to Missy Higgins and Wil Wagner could not be helped. As peculiar as the comparison might seem, Maq embodied that rugged Australian twang and edginess in her vocals. This unrestrained three piece were a perfect introduction for the Screaming Females. The edginess of Camp Cope’s material was only contrasted by their sweet disposition and banter between tracks.
As Marissa Paternoster of the Screaming Females entered the stage, there was a feeling of monotony, perhaps playing over 1,000 shows had taken it’s toll. Nonetheless the crowd were eager to see them, which is no surprise as this is the first time they’ve toured Australia.
The Screaming Females is fronted by Paternoster, whose vocal delivery heavily comprised of wails and howls. She was joined by Mike on bass and Dougherty on drums, who chose to pair a paisley shirt with pearls in a very sophisticated look. The best way to describe Screaming Females would be a more metal oriented Sleater-Kinney. Most of the intros and body give the impression they came directly from a Motörhead album and written by Lemmy himself.
Perhaps Paternoster’s position as a female lead was able to make this guitar and drum ladened genre more accessible. The crowd had about a 50/50 split between the genders. Paternoster conveyed the cool don’t-give-af attitude only a girl could exude, which is needed back in punk rock. Her defiant sentiment was supported by the heavy riffs she so casually lashed out.
I wouldn’t classify the Females as a riot grrl band however they did touch on feminist themes. Paternoster cried “ I’m on a mission to smash this mirror”, as to reject culturally acceptable body ideals of which she showcased in her lyrics and appearance. For one she was tiny and audacious. While this was a pretty heavy gig, some experimenting and diversity in their intros allowed for some more oddly placed Beach Boys surf rock themes and groovy bass lines. The crowd seemed thankful to get a chance to catch their breath from the heavy moshing. Hopefully next time we won’t have to wait another 11 years to see them on our shores.
Reviewer: Zara Kravchenko