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Beach Goth bliss: The Growlers leave Sydney hypnotised once again

California’s mellowest sons are back. The Growlers’ seventh album is a gorgeous, gritty little package called Casual Acquaintances and it has heralded the return of the Mesa Cosa five-piece to our golden shores.

For those of us who remember their three consecutive nights in Sydney in late-2017, this news is a little overdue.

The Growlers know the trip to Australia isn’t a short one, so when they make that 16-hour flight, they make it count.

Joining them this time was the legendary duo of Pist Idiots and The Chats. These two acts have proven themselves to be a lethal brew as far as lineups go, and tonight looked like it was shaping up splendidly. Up first, Pist Idiots brought a solid amount of noise to the ever-expanding crowd who were moseying their way into the main room to see what all the ruckus was about.

The Chats dutifully followed, keeping momentum steamrolling ahead. Frontman Eamon Sandwith knows how to mesmerise a crowd with a bowl cut and hilarious anecdotes at the ready.

With an obligatory whiff of weed in the air, the Growlers assembled and slipped into the sleek Night Ride as the crowd began to sing along to every word. In fact, they knew every lyric to just about every track. At times, frontman Brooks Nielsen would actually let the room take the helm and sing entire verses without so much as a peep from his mic. Talk about die-hard fans. The Growlers know the trip out here isn’t a short one, so when they take that 16-hour flight, they put everything into their shows, and that respect is returned by the punters here in droves.

Growlers shows are typically long and Brooks only seemed to break up the sonic flow to mumble sweet nothings about his love for our sun-kissed land. The sold-out Metro Theatre cheered in reciprocation and it was clear the feeling was mutual.

It wasn’t long before we had settled into a blissful flow; easy to achieve with the Growlers’ Beach Goth brew of surf, disco, pop, rock and beat all working in synergy. Then, as we approached the end of the set, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. Kirin J Callinan oozed onto the stage.

The two acts had been touring with each other in the States so of course he was making an appearance tonight. Callinan whipped and flipped about the stage in his iconic theatrical way while Brooks maintained his cool-guy composure. It was so totally awesome witnessing these two creative juggernauts perform on the same stage.

Now, if only we could sort out a Beach Goth festival down under. Growlers, you spoil us!

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February 1, 2019