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Live Review: Born Joy Dead w/ Muddy Chanter & Landings @ Black Bear Lodge

Born JOy Dead Live Black Bear 2

It’s a little bit sad when your main support act out-stages you, even worse when they leave a hair on your mic and you swallow it. For Brissy indie-rock outfit Born Joy Dead this was the unfortunate reality as they took to the stage at Black Bear Lodge, launching their latest single Sourdough.

Fellow Brisbane trio Landings seemed like a perfect fit for an opening act, showing similarities of Born Joy Dead’s alternative style with their electro-beats which had plenty of heads nodding along. The mix of semi-distorted guitars, pounding drums, and lyrics that were fitting of their angsty teen look all wrapped up into a fairly enjoyable opening set.

Local rockers Muddy Chanter’s style however was much heavier, with members of the crowd headbanging along to lead vocalist BJ’s energetic vibes. Their bouncing bass, warm vocals, and just a pinch of grunge guitar combined to create an great atmosphere that had everybody on their feet. A quick comment from the crowd telling bassist Matt he should “take it off” got a pretty hilarious response when he told them that was something they definitely did not want. “It’s like a melted candle, a big melted candle,” he quipped, gesturing to his stomach.

It was pretty clear that some of the crowd was solely there for the opening acts, leaving before Born Joy Dead even made it to the stage. But before too long a large wave of latecomers filled in the gaps as the main set began. Born Joy Dead opened with a few of their more mellow jams, which quickly extinguished Muddy Chanter’s party flame but picked up again later with Upside Down, Inside Out and Sourdough.

The songs were a heavily guitar-driven smash of alt-pop and funk with a few kickass solos thrown in, which would have been awesome if the acoustics had been mixed properly. Ben Dalton’s rolling vocals were almost completely downed out rather than co-existing with the instruments and had a huge impact on fans, with the crowd dispersing to try and find a better sounding spot.

Born Joy Dead Live

The lads supplied some pretty tasty sourdough bread, courtesy of Sol Natural Foods, with plates stacked high on each table in the venue. Their final song was a cover of Dave Dobbyn’s Slice Of Heaven, which showed potential but was somewhat disappointing.

A classic with a huge array of instruments is hard to pull off between two guitars, bass, and drums so the song felt like it was lacking its usual quirkiness. The lads had the rhythmic funkiness of the song down and Dalton’s vocals were a passable match, but without any of those odd wind instruments and Dobbyn’s unique personality the song didn’t come full circle.

The crowd didn’t hang around long enough to ask for an encore with many people heading for the stairs as soon as it was clear the night was over. Although the dudes of Born Joy Dead make some pretty funky tunes, this show just wasn’t a winner.