WAMi Festival: The Morning Night (Single Launch) with Split Seconds + The Atlas Mountains + Modular Man – Amplifier Bar, Perth (21.05.10)


After my first night of music in Perth was spent enjoying the festivities of the 2010 WAMi Awards, Friday brought with it a barrage of live music choices. While originally heading somewhere completely different, I ended up at the “Someday” single launch for local up-and-coming act The Morning Night. Taking place at the Amplifier Bar, I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. All four artists were truly impressive, immediately affirming my earlier assumptions: Perth has one of the healthiest music scenes in the country, with some ridiculously talented artists in its midst.


First up were Modular Man, named not after the record label of the same (first) name, but no doubt after a Marvel “supervillain” of the same (full) name. Forming just last year, the local three piece have only officially released one track to date (“Catharsis”), but their live show proves they are well on their way to add much to that repertoire. As many three pieces seem to be doing these days, they worked well to prove just how much sound three people could produce, especially when such a tight musical collective. And they were just the first of four bands worth paying attention to – a trend which would carry throughout the weekend of the festival. Check out “Catharsis” here: http://modularman.bandcamp.com/


Five piece The Atlas Mountains (pictured above) followed, channelling Joy Division with a hint of Pearl Jam in their vocals – with a good dose of infectious, often unexpectedly moving rock melodies to back it up – a combination which seems to work quite well for the Perth natives. Taylor Smith is an apt front man, taking on lead vocals and guitar, and indeed is the source of the Joy Division meets Pearl Jam vibe I mentioned. But their music is vast and varied – at times throwing them into a category occupied by artists like Band of Horses – and at other times, into territory similar to that covered by Dappled Cities. And in either degree, they prove an impressive force. They have quite a few recorded tracks available online, from their debut album Sanskrit Owl, which was recorded in an abandoned warehouse in Perth! Check them out here: http://www.myspace.com/theatlasmountains

But it was Split Seconds (pictured below) who quite possibly stole the show, a five piece who enjoyed combining electric drum beats with the electric keys and some proper drums too. Their sound was melodic, making fun, instrumentally focused songs look easy, that keep you dancing until the final chord, while you clapped along to the digital beats. They’d kill it in Sydney! Check them out here: http://www.myspace.com/splitsecondss


Not that the headliner status meant anything to an out-of-towner like me, but as the room swelled for The Morning Night, it was clear they had a lot of fans keen to support them at their single launch. The four piece (at times seven) featured an enchantress on the violin, Eliza Rogers, who helped prove the band slightly reminiscent of Sydney’s Bridezilla… although I think a more apt description of the band’s sound would be something akin to The Red Paintings. Whatever happened to those guys? 

Much like the preceeding acts, I was impressed by the talent that was oozing out of the stage during their performance. Brilliant at whatever instrument they might be playing, the band showcased a cohesive energy that was electric in the Amplifier room.

But you know what was most impressive about the night? It’s that each band had something completely different to offer, both in presence and their music. And while their styles varied, somehow it all felt like it belonged together, providing a truly impressive night of music that I had no desire to see end.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.